Following a recent rise in the number of
consumers complaining about scam telephone calls,
the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
and the ACMA are jointly calling on Australians to
immediately hang up the phone if a scammer
'Over the past two months complaints about scam
telephone calls to the ACCC and the ACMA have
increased significantly from 200 per month to
around 2,000 across the two agencies,' said Chris
Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA.
'Consumers can stop themselves being scammed by
never disclosing any personal or financial details
to these callers,' added ACCC Chairman, Graeme
Samuel. 'Cutting off the lifeline is the best way
to disrupt scammers.'
Many scams are currently circulating and the
ACCC and the ACMA are sending out a specific
warning to consumers on the following:
> callers advising that the person's
computer is infected with a virus and requesting
credit card details to fix the problem
> callers offering products, services or
cash under fake government grants
> callers seeking bank details in order to
process a bank fee refund or tax refund
> callers offering to place the person's
number on the Do Not Call Register for a fee
> recorded messages asking consumers to
dial 9 for a 'free' holiday.
These scams are also increasing in prevalence in
other countries, notably the United Kingdom,
highlighting the international nature of these
types of cold call scams.
There are simple steps you can take to reduce
your risk of being ripped off. These steps
> Being cautious-if you get an unsolicited
call and the caller requests personal information,
it may be a scam. Hang up and verify who they are
by independently finding their contact details from
a trustworthy source such as a phone book and
contacting them directly.
> Protecting your personal information and
financial details-don't provide your details to
anyone who has contacted you out of the blue who
you don't know and trust. Even if they claim to be
from a reputable company or government department
it may still be a scam.
> If you get a cold call from someone
claiming you are entitled to a refund, have won a
holiday or have a virus on your computer, hang up
> Contact your bank immediately if you
think you have provided your details to a
The ACCC's SCAMwatch website, www.scamwatch.gov.au,
has more information on scams and how you can
protect yourself from them.
The Do Not Call Register is a free government
service that allows Australians to register their
numbers to opt out of telemarketing calls and
marketing faxes. To register your number, call 1300
792 958 or visit www.donotcall.gov.au.