A spike in scams across north-west Sydney prompted Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts to visit Stanhope Gardens and other suburbs in the Blacktown area yesterday to make residents aware of the problem.
He said more communication was needed for people to be aware of the risk scams posed, with the unscrupulous often targeting specific areas for two weeks at a time.
‘‘We’ve found there’s been an incredible spike in scams across north-west Sydney,’’ he said.
‘‘An event like this is really about making sure we inoculate ourselves against these scams which are becoming prolific, and more and more sophisticated.’’
Mr Roberts said there had been a great increase in telephone scams asking for people’s bank details, particularly ones claiming they had payments to deliver through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Other scams will pose as market researchers to asking about a person’s satisfaction with their bank, and call the following day purporting to be from the bank.
They will offer to reimburse the customer over charged administration fees and ask to check bank details.
Mr Roberts said people who fall prey to this find their accounts wiped clean the next day.
‘‘Banks do not call asking for account details and certainly governments don’t do it either — they already have them,’’ he said.
People who suspect they have been scammed are encouraged to call the department on 133220.