A grandfather from Australia has been scammed out of $10,000 by a sophisticated fraudster who knew all of his personal details.

The 77 year old retired grandfather, from Australia, was called on his landline by scammers claiming to be from his broadband provider. They told him he was due a payment of $300 in compensation for his service not working properly. The caller then proceeded to pass his call onto a female agent who claimed to work for the network and would process his $300 payment.

The scammer knew all of his personal details and was able to access his computer where she stole $10,000 from his credit card. Money which he does not have and cannot afford to pay back.

Consumer Protection is concerned about the growing number of incidents in Australia where elderly victims are increasingly being targeted by heartless fraudsters posing as legitimate organisations. They have warned people to look out for the following signs of  being targeted by a phone scam:

  • Callers claiming to be from well-known organisations.
  • Calls seeking financial details to process a refund or overpayment.
  • Callers who apply a lot of pressure and urge you to act immediately.
  • Calls offering to put your number on the do not call register for a fee.
  • Callers saying your computer has a virus, and they need to access it fix the problem.
  • Poor quality calls where the caller is difficult to understand.

What to do if you receive a nuisance call.

People who receive nuisance marketing calls, emails and texts is to ask the company to remove their details from their lists, read the small print and be careful about ticking boxes which could give them consent to contact you. People can also report cold calls or texts that either played a recorded voice message or from a real person, to the ICO. The ICO will use the information you provide to investigate and take action against companies responsible.

What is a nuisance call ?

A nuisance call or cold-call is an unsolicited telephone call from a business seeking to attract new customers. Cold Calling is not illegal, however, there are restrictions on how and when a marketing cold-call should be made. The new GDPR regulations along with the ICO’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations tighten up these restrictions, and as from 25 May 2018, any organisation involved in cold calling will have to abide by strict guidelines or face hefty fines. The only instance where you can be lawfully cold-called is if you have given consent before being contacted.

In addition, organisations cannot call numbers that are registered with the TPS. The TPS (Telephone Preference Service) is a free service. It is the official opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is forbidden for organisations to make telephone contact with anyone registered on the TPS database.

To register with the TPS follow this https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/number_type.html

You can also log a complaint with the ICO here: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/nuisance-calls-and-messages/


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