News and views of Bangladeshi community in Australia

Beware of Scammers - 1
Arifur Rahman Khadem

Lately or over the past year, you may or may not have received calls, sms, emails or mails from different companies, such as Australian Taxation Office, Telstra, Optus, Microsoft, Banks, Job Agencies and so on. They can come to people like us with various attractive offers and can easily tempt many of us in the space of a couple of minutes. The callers from ATO may induce you with the words for instance, ďAs a good tax payer, you are entitled to receive $8,200 from ATO. Others may say to you that they are calling from Telstra (as they already know that you use the Telstra Network), and they recently received notifications from your computer that it had been infected with spyware & malware viruses, so they now need to access your PC to fix the problems. Microsoft can also come to you with similar troubles you are facing with their products. Similarly, you may end up receiving calls/mails from job agencies, banks, AOL, lotteries, charities and health organisations, with mind-blowing or trustworthy messages or business opportunities.

If you ever receive such calls or mails, never step into them, as they are nothing but scammers or hackers. Once you fall into their traps, you will surely incur serious financial loss in different ways, including paying them large fees and/or allowing them to hack your computer, email accounts, bank accounts, credit cards and other confidential, personal and financial information. One of the phone companies may offer you to fix your PC with just $8 subscription for 5 years and you may be happy to accept it as their customer. As soon as you disclose your credit card to pay the fee, your entire credit card fund may be gone. In 2013, $90 million was reported lost by people in Australia. They were people just like us. A lot of people around you might have already experienced it but may be a bit shy to share with you. Most callers were reported having Indian accents. If scammers call 100 people, at least 10 - 20 people easily get their attentions, follow them and suffer at the end. If you receive such calls/mails/texts, try to get their numbers. In many cases, they may give you some Australian phone numbers for you to gain faith in themselves or to feel as if you are receiving the right call, although those numbers do not belong to Australia. You should immediately report the matter to Scam Watch on 1300 795 995. If you ever find any interest in any of these issues, always call the main numbers of these businesses found on their Webpages or in your statements and discuss if they are calling you with such offers. I personally caught a couple of scammers including one today from Telstra and reported to the Scam Watch. I must acknowledge that some callers seem quite professional on the phone and anybody can be into their traps losing a lot of things. So, please let your friends know by sharing this message before they lose their valuables.

Arifur Rahman Khadem, Sydney

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