There are several scams active in the Tumut region presently, with unscrupulous criminals using phone and email to try and trick people into giving them access to their private devices.
Tumut resident Jess Hughes posted on the Facebook page Tumut Area Buy Swap and Sell warning others about scammers using her private number and claiming they were selling solar panels.
If the person who picked up the call pressed a certain number, it is likely malware would be downloaded onto their devices.
“Just letting people know that Tumut home numbers are being hacked by scammers,” she said.
“Have had my phone line hacked by scammers claiming to sell solar panels. My phone has been ringing off the hook this afternoon with people that have missed calls from my number or received scam calls and ringing back to abuse me.
“Have unhooked my phone and left a message on my message bank now as I couldn’t keep up with the calls.”
Tumut Police Sergeant Bryan Hammond confirmed that police were looking into this incident, and also said that there was an email scam making the rounds of the Tumut region at the moment.
The email is from an address that looks like it comes from a NSW government department based in Dubbo.
“There’s a heap of them going out; I’ve had three to my own email accounts,” he said.
The email claims that the recipient has received an infringement notice, and gives two options to download: onto mobile or onto PC. It is vital that if anyone receives this email, that they don’t click on either link.
If it seems to you like there has been an increase in scamming activity recently, you’re not the only one. Sergeant Hammond said it was inevitable that these sorts of scams would continue to increase, as scammers adapt to new forms of technology in their attempts to rip people off.
“It’s increasing because of the way we’re handling technology,” he said.
“People ask how they do it, but they’re just doing random generated phone numbers or random emails. Many years ago you used to get all the scams sent by letter and all you’d have to do is go and get the electoral roll. But now it’s a bit different.
“A lot of them will look like they’re coming from Sydney or Melbourne or Adelaide, but they’re most likely overseas using VOIP phones.
“They don’t pop up overnight, they spend months working it out and putting it out and being convincing – and then if even one person out of a thousand falls for it then they make their money.”