Newcastle Police are urging residents not to be taken in by a phone scam doing the rounds.

Scammers are calling claiming to be from the Tax Office or NSW Police, saying an outstanding bill or debt is owed and threatening the person with arrest unless it’s paid immediately.

The calls appear to be genuine as the caller ID shows the number of the local police station.

Police say it is unclear how the scammers are utilising the actual number.

Police say neither the tax office or police call people to make demands for payment and we shouldn’t be duped into passing over personal information or transferring money over the phone.

Police say the Australian Tax Office will never:

• threaten you with immediate arrest

• ask you to pay money to receive a refund or payment from us

• ask you to pay a debt via iTunes vouchers, or pre-paid credit card or
store gift cards

• ask you to provide personal information, such as your tax file number
(TFN) or credit card number, via email or SMS

• ask you to pay money into a personal bank account

• direct you to download files from the internet, or open attachments in
unsolicited emails.

Further information can be found by clicking on the following link.

SCAMWATCH has provided the following advice on how to protect yourself.

Protect yourself:

• If you receive a phone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be a
representative of Telstra and their call relates to a problem with your internet
connection, just hang up.

• If you have doubts about the identity of any caller who claims to
represent a business, organisation or government department, contact the body
directly. Don’t rely on contact details provided by the person – find them through
an independent source such as a phone book or online search.

• Remember that you can still receive scam calls even if you have a private
number or have listed your number on the Australian Government’s Do Not Call
Register (link is external). Scammers can obtain your number fraudulently or
from anywhere it has been publicly listed such as in a phone book.

• Don’t let scammers press your buttons – scammers use detailed scripts to
convince you that they’re the real deal and create a high-pressure situation to
make a decision on the spot.

• Always keep your computer security up to date with anti-virus and
anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. Only buy computer and anti-virus
software from a reputable source.

• Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the
phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.

• Never give a stranger remote access to your computer, even if they claim
to be from a reputable business.

• If you think your computer’s security has been compromised, use your
security software to run a virus check. If you still have doubts, contact your
anti-virus software provider or a computer specialist.

• If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact
your bank or financial institution immediately.


• If you have lost money as a result of this type of scam, please report the
matter to your local Police Station.

• You can also report scams to the ACCC via SCAMWATCH or report a scam page
or by calling 1300 795 995.