Warning to consumers as scams get more sophisticated

Callum HunterSouth Western Times

Consumer Protection have issued a stark warning for people to remain vigilant of scammers after a Bunbury woman was scammed of $8000 earlier this month.

The woman received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office and was told she would be arrested if she did not pay $8000 in owed tax.

Consumer Protection South West regional coordinator Annetta Bellingeri said the main alarm bells of an ATO scam was out-of-the-blue correspondence, threatening behaviours and the demanding of immediate payment.

“They will try to scare you into acting quickly and not give you the opportunity to verify the information independently,” she said.

“The tax office does make calls to people but they act differently, they will never ever ask you to pay with Itunes gift cards or any type of insecure payment methods.”

The scammers even impersonated Bunbury police by projecting the station’s phone number into the woman’s call log.

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