Beware of new phone scam

RESIDENTS in Blacktown have been warned to beware of a new phone scam using the lure of government refunds to try to steal their money.

Those targeted are told the caller is from the Australian government and given a name, reference number and Sydney phone number to call.

The scam asks potential victims to transfer a sum of money via Western Union so they can receive a substantially larger refund.

Federal MP for Chifley Ed Husic said three residents had contacted his office about the scam in the past few days.

He said they were surprised at how much personal information these scammers already had.

‘‘The Australian government does not conduct its business via Western Union and that should always ring alarm bells,’’ he said.

‘‘Despite the Sydney phone number, this is most likely an off-shore scam.

‘‘This warning is a timely reminder about protecting your personal information, which is very valuable to those looking to commit fraud.’’

Anyone contacted by this or similar scams are encouraged to contact the government’s SCAMwatch infocentre on 1300795995.

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