Resident warns: beware of scammers
AN unsolicited text and a strange phone call have set off alarm bells for one South Grafton woman who is concerned residents may be the target of Indonesian credit card scammers.
Pat McDonald said she received a text message on her mobile phone about a week ago congratulating her on winning $100,000.
“I did have a lottery ticket and wondered if it was the lottery department,” said the 64-year-old pensioner.
Pat went and checked her ticket against the latest lottery numbers on the appropriate website and realised she hadn’t won so she rang Optus, her mobile supplier.
“They said the number the text had come from was Indonesian,” Pat said.
“Then, two nights ago I got a phone call – I said hello about four times before this person said ‘Miss McDonald you used your credit card in Grafton shopping centre last week’.
“I said ‘No I didn’t’ but he just kept on saying ‘yes – you used a Mastercard or credit card in a Grafton shopping centre’.
“Finally he asked ‘Why, have you not got a credit card?’ – when I said that I didn’t he hung up straight away.”
Pat said she only reflected on the strangeness and potential fraudulent nature of the call after it ended.
“In my ignorance, if I did have a credit card I would have gone along with it,” she said.
She said the man, who spoke with strong accent she could not identify, provided his name and said he was from Sydney but gave no other credentials.
“I rang the police assistance line and they put me through to Grafton police but they didn’t want to do anything,” she said.
Pat said she wanted to warn people about the potential scam.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Little Black Book of Scams which outlines the many and varied ways unscrupulous fraudsters will try to get hold of people’s money. There are 15 chapters dedicated to different types of scams.
The book can be picked up for free from the Department of Fair Trading’s Grafton office or downloaded at http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/TheLittleBlackBookOfScams08.