Detectives from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group have issued a warning to Queensland residents about a scam using Queensland Police Service phone numbers to legitimise government or bank impersonation scams.
Recent reports indicate the scammers 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 these cases a QPS number).
This scam involves you receiving a call from what appears to be a trusted or well-known government phone number and the caller impersonating an employee from the organisation (in this case a police officer) to legitimise the scam. The scammer threatens you in relation to an outstanding fine or fee, for example, a debt with the Australian Taxation Office or a warrant for your arrest or deportation. The scammer then demands a form of payment to prevent action against you.
While this type of scam has been doing the rounds for some time, police are concerned this version of the scam using a QPS spoofed phone number has an additional layer which may result in more members of the community falling victim.
Detective Acting Superintendent Vince Byrnes from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group urged Queensland residents to always be vigilant when receiving phone calls from people asking for money or personal details.
“Police, or any other legitimate government department or financial institution, will never call you and ask for your personal banking information or payments in gift cards, cryptocurrency or money transfers.
“It is important to take independent steps to verify a caller’s identity before providing any personal information or payments of any sort, irrespective of the phone number displayed, or who a caller claims to work for.
“Please make your own enquiries if you do receive a phone call from what appears to be a police station, take down the callers details, find a number yourself and dial it in, rather than returning a call you may have missed or were directed to,” said Detective Acting Superintendent Vince Byrnes.
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 safe-keeping
- Send someone to your home to collect cash, cards or your PIN
If you have received such a call and made a payment to a scammer, contact your financial institution immediately and report the matter to the Australian Cyber Security Centre – ReportCyber
If you did not lose any funds you can still report the incident to Scamwatch
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