The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) is warning consumers to be wary of calls offering compensation following a recent Do Not Call Register court case.
How to spot the call
The ACMA understands there to be a number of characteristics that will help you identify if you have received one of these calls.
- You receive a call out of the blue from someone who offers to put your number on the Do Not Call Register.
- Fact: The Do Not Call Register does not make unsolicited calls offering to put your number on the Do Not Call Register
- The caller may then tell you that because of a recent court outcome, you are eligible to receive thousands of dollars of compensation because you received telemarketing calls in the past
- Fact: Putting your number on the Do Not Call Register does not entitle you to compensation.
- The caller may also tell you that any purchases you made over the phone will also be refunded.
- Fact: Putting your number on the Do Not Call Register does not void any purchases you may have made over the phone.
The ACMA understands that in some circumstances, the caller will then request that you pay a ‘processing fee’ to allow them to put your number on the Do Not Call Register or get money promised to you.
- Fact: It does not cost money to put your number on the Do Not Call Register.
- Consumers should never pay money up-front to receive a ‘refund’ or ‘free’ money. This is advance fee fraud – also known as an ‘up-front payment scam’
The ACCC and ACMA have warned about these types of calls previously. Consumers receive a telephone call where they are unexpectedly offered a substantial amount of money, if they pay a processing fee. Previous versions of these types of calls include:
- fake Government grants
- tax refunds
- refunds on overpaid bank fees or bills
These calls are scams.
What to do if you receive one of these calls
If you receive a call from out of the blue claiming you need to pay money to access a refund or compensation, hang up immediately. Useful tips about other ways you can protect yourself are available on the ACCC’s SCAMwatch website.
Do Not Call Register
The Do Not Call Register is a free Federal Government service where Australians can register their numbers to opt out of telemarketing calls and marketing faxes - either call 1300 792 958 or visit www.donotcall.gov.au.