Stirling North residents scammed

A recent scam targetting two elderly residents in Stirling North has police urging the community to talk to members of their family and friends.

The victims were both contacted over the phone on August 29 and August 30 by an unknown person claiming to work for Telstra.

The scammer told their targets that their computers had been hacked. Instructions were then provided to enable their computers to be accessed remotely and money was then transferred from the victims’ accounts.

The victims were also instructed to purchase iTunes vouchers to pay for the “service”.

A police statement released today warned that businesses and government agencies do not seek payments – even when ‘urgent’ – in iTunes cards.

The gift cards pay for Apple products, but are not a legitimate way to make payments over the phone for things such as taxes, debts, computer servicing or utility bills.

“Unfortunately many of the people who have fallen prey to these scammers are older members of the community who have less experience with the technology involved,” SAPOL said in a statement.

“The scammers are very confident on the phone and very persuasive, at times keeping the victim on the phone while they go to buy the iTunes cards.

“SA Police are asking the community to spread the word about these incidents – talk to your friends, relatives or wider community about this type of crime.”

SAPOL also provided a list of helpful tips to avoid falling victim to scammers.

  • if it looks too good to be true, it probably is
  • get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment
  • always know who you are communicating with and where your information is going
  • if you are uncertain, confirm the contact is legitimate through methods other than what they have provided
  • never give your personal details, passwords, credit card or online account details to a person you cannot identify in an official capacity
  • never give an unsolicited person remote access to your computer. You may compromise the security of your device and your personal information
  • ensure your computer is protected with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software