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Scam calls impersonating Council

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Residents have reported being contacted via phone by someone falsely claiming to be from Bundaberg Regional Council

Bundaberg Regional Council is urging residents to be wary of providing personal details over the phone after being alerted to a number of scam calls in the region.

Council has this week been contacted by several residents who received a phone call from someone claiming to represent Bundaberg Regional Council who was asking residents to provide details for the purposes of a survey.

One resident reported hearing background noises on the call, as if it were coming from a call centre, and was asked to list the ages of people in their household before they terminated the call.

When they tried recalling the number on the phone, their screen read ‘suspected scam’, at which point they reported the call to Council.

Council is not currently undertaking any phone-based surveys.

Council was also made aware of a scam call where the caller asked a resident to make immediate payment of rates over the phone.

Organisational Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Steve Cooper said, if in doubt, residents should hang up and contact Council through formal channels.

“Residents can contact Council on 1300 883 699 or at any of our service centres to advise of the contact that has been made,” Cr Cooper said.

“Our customer service staff can verify the authenticity of the contact that was made before residents provide any personal details.

“And, if it turns out that it is not an authentic interaction, like the reports of what appear to be scam calls which we’ve had this week, it helps us to be aware of the situation so that we can alert the community.”

Scam calls common delivery method

According to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, 16,602 scam reports were lodged in June this year alone, with a reported $38,174,695 lost.

Phone calls were the most common delivery method for scams last month, making up 32.9 per cent of the reported activity.

The website also says that hacking, identity theft, phishing and remote access scams are the potential outcomes of attempts by scammers to gain personal information.

Cr Cooper encouraged residents to familiarise themselves with the tips for avoiding scams provided by Scamwatch and to report any suspicious activity to relevant authorities.

“Thanks to the reports of residents about these potential scam calls we can now alert the community and hopefully avoid seeing anyone fall victim.

“It’s important to arm yourself with the right information and protect your private information.”

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