Season for scams

Don’t be fooled into falling
for fraudsters’ false claims

SLICK scammers can be convincing and Auburn police are urging people not to be fooled into handing over personal details including bank account or credit card numbers in the lead up to Christmas.
They are also urging residents, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, not to be tricked into using iTunes cards to pay off alleged debts to fraudsters falsely claiming to be from Telstra, or Government departments including Immigration, Public Prosecutions, or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
CHRISTMAS might be a time for good cheer to all but it’s also a lucrative time for scammers to target unwary bargain hunters.
Auburn Police are warning anyone selling goods using online marketplace sites, such as Gumtree, to take precautions to protect themselves, after a number of incidents where sellers have been robbed after arriving at an agreed meeting spot.
In one incident on Parramatta Road at Homebush on Saturday, November 23, a 22-year-old man trying to sell his mobile phone suffered minor injuries when a meeting with a perspective buyer turned into an attempted robbery.
Crime prevention officer, senior constable Jim Dickson, said sellers should arrange to meet prospective buyers face to face in an area that is well lit and likely to have CCTV such as shopping centres, railway stations, fast food restaurants, or even “outside a police station”.
He also warned that scammers may pose as genuine sellers on classifieds websites and said if you are in doubt, take the time to make some extra checks, especially if something seems too good to be true.
“The scammer may claim they are travelling and an agent will deliver the goods once you have paid, but you won’t receive the goods and will be unable to contact the seller,” he said.
Snr Const Dickson says fraudsters can also turn up at your door, call on your phone or use SMS.
“Scammers often try to snare many people with one SMS – this is known as spamming. If you respond, you may be charged at premium rates or find yourself signed up to a subscription service,” he said.
“And, never send money or give your personal details to someone you meet online, even if they tell a convincing tale of woe and ask for your support.”