COVID-19 Edition 10: Scamming During the Covid-19 Crisis
With the state of emergency directions in place since 16 March 2020, and the consequential restrictions on leaving the house, we are at home more often and therefore more available to answer phone calls. Consequently, there has been an increase in telephone calls from scammers to members of the community, especially to our most vulnerable members of the community who are worried about their finances.
We recently heard about an elderly man who received a phone call from someone claiming that they were from his local bank. This man thought that the phone call was genuine and gave the person the requested information over the phone, authorising a payment of $2,500.00. The Caller then contacted the bank, requesting the bank to process the money as they were having difficulties in processing it. The bank conducted the relevant checks and found that it was not satisfied that the request was genuine and the Bank refused to process the amount. So, what can be done to avoid being scammed? First, banks do not usually call account holders. Banks usually send letters or emails, according to the means of communication which has been elected by their account holders. Therefore, to avoid being scammed, we suggest telling the Caller to state the name of the person they are calling. Then tell the Caller that you will need to verify the call and that you will call them back. You should call the bank to check whether the bank has called you or not. Secondly, never give information over the phone, unless you have made the call to the bank or the organisation, yourself. If you have been scammed, the first thing to do is to call the bank and notify them. Try to get the bank to arrange for the return of your money to you. For Further information, the following websites may assist you: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/get-help/protect-yourself-from-scamshttps://www.accc.gov.au/business/business-rights-protections/avoiding-scams If you require legal advice about any situation in which you find yourself in, please call our Team at Hutchinson Legal on 9870 9870 - We care about assisting you with your life issues and situations.