Warning as tax scammers hit Coast targets
Police are warning residents about a scam using a Queensland Police Service phone number to legitimise a government or Australian Taxation Office impersonator.
Criminals are using a practice known as caller ID spoofing where they inappropriately manipulate the telephone network to indicate the incoming call is from a different number (in this case, a police number).
The scam starts when the criminal calls the victim and impersonates a government department.
They advise the victim that they have an outstanding fine or fee with them.
A Sunshine Coast Daily reporter, who lives at Marcoola, said he received on Tuesday night.
"It came through about 6.30pm, I didn't recognise the number but thought it may have been work, he said.
"The automated message seemed legitimate at the time.
"From memory they informed me someone had been falsely using my identity and that a warrant had been place for my arrest."
He said his heart skipped a beat when he heard that.
"The automated message asked me to hold the line to speak to an operator.
"When they answered I immediately asked them what this was about.
"They then asked my name. I didn't comply and asked what this was about again.
"They again asked for my name and when I didn't answer they hung up."
Police are concerned the current version of the scam has an additional layer which may result in more members of the community falling victim.
The second part of the scam involves the criminal calling the victim from what appears to be a trusted or well-known government phone number and impersonating an employee from the organisation to legitimise the scam.
The criminal posing as a police officer threatens victims with arrest or states they will commence legal action before demanding a form of payment.
Queensland Police officers will never:
Contact you to ask for your Personal Identification Number (PIN) or bank details
Ask you to transfer money out of your account
Ask you to withdraw cash to hand over to them for safekeeping
Send someone to your home to collect cash, cards or your PIN
Police have commenced inquiries regarding this scam and the illegal use of the police number.
Scams can be reported to ReportCyber.
For more information visit www.scamwatch.gov.au.