Reclaim bank fees phone scam
Scammers have latched onto the current consumer legal action against banks as a way to con Western Australians out of secure personal details over the phone.
The warning (2 June 2010) comes following a number of reports received recently by WA ScamNet.
The fraudsters call out-of-the-blue pretending to be from the Consumer Action Law Centre and offer to help you reclaim unfair account charges and fees through a group Court case.
Other places the callers claim to be from include:
Australian Council Reclaim
Bank Reclaims Department
Reclaim Department of Local Council
The scammers falsely claim they have checked your bank account and calculated an overcharge of thousands of dollars. During the call they try to obtain sensitive personal information.
It isn’t the first time a scam of this kind has been operating in WA. This is similar to a phone scam we warned consumers about toward the end of 2009, where the caller claimed to be a Fair Trading official who could reimburse overcharged bank fees.
Even if an unsolicited caller tells you that they are from a trusted organisation double check their credentials by contacting the organisation via their publically listed telephone number. Don’t rely on numbers supplied by the caller or given in an email.
No legitimate organisation will randomly call members of the community to ask for banking details. If you get a call like this do not supply any information and hang up.
Anyone who is tricked into giving out their bank details should immediately contact their financial institution to prevent their money being taken fraudulently.
Victims of scams can call the Consumer Protection advice line on 1300 30 40 54 or report the matter to WA Police.
Update - 20 May 2011 Telephone scammers are now claiming to be calling on behalf of government agencies, such as the Australian Tax Office, Centrelink and various Consumer Protection agencies. Please ignore any request for you to pay a fee by wire transfer to receive a refund from the alleged agency. This is a scam, no legitimate Australian government or commercial organisation will ask you to transfer money overseas by wire transfer in this way. For further information contact WA ScamNet on 1300 30 40 54.