TELSTRA has reminded Warrnambool customers to be extremely wary of scammers attempting to obtain personal information via telephone and online.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released figures showing the number of scams continues to rise in Australia, with telephone calls the most common scam reported in Australia in 2013, increasing by 13 per cent to 39,921.
The combined financial losses of Australians involved in telephone and online scams this past year was more than $71 million.
Among the most prominent telephone scams reported are fake call centre operators impersonating technical staff from different organisations, including Telstra.
During the same period, the ACCC received nearly 37,000 reports about online scams involving internet and email, representing increases of almost 47 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
Telstra Country Wide Area south-west manager Bill Mundy, said the ACCC’s figures were a timely reminder that personal information was a valuable asset and criminals would go to great lengths to access it.
“The criminals operating these scams have only one thing in mind and that is to try and trick consumers into disclosing their personal details so those details can then be used illegally,” he said.
“The increasing number of these type of scams is concerning and consumers in Warrnambool should be alert to any attempts to trick them into disclosing their credit card or banking details over the telephone, via email or the internet.
“Telstra is encouraging consumers to protect their personal information and be particularly wary of telephone calls from numbers they don’t recognise, or emails sent from companies and addresses that aren’t familiar.
To report a scam contact the ACCC by calling 1300 795 995 or visit the SCAMwatch website at www.scamwatch.gov.au.