Police appeal to local businesses to tackle phone scams

Phone Scam Alert

ACT Policing is appealing to owners and employees of local businesses in an effort to combat persistent phone scams. 

Police are aware of numerous incidents where payments have been made to scammers using online gift cards.

The scam reportedly involves a caller claiming to be an official following up a report of tax evasion or other issue, who advises the victim to purchase and transfer Google Play cards (or other gift cards) in order to pay off the tax debt.

In one case, a victim purchased cards totalling $25,000.

Employees of local businesses are being urged to take notice if a member of the public is purchasing large or expensive quantities of Google Play or other gift cards. Do not be afraid to ask the purchaser what the cards are for.

If a purchase seems suspicious, employees should encouraged people to contact police on 131 444.

Police are reminding the community that if you receive demands for money via phone, in the post, or online from police or other government agencies you can check their validity by contacting the agency directly.

Police, the Australian Taxation Office and other agencies WILL NEVER ask members of the public to settle debts by paying with gift cards.

If you feel you may have been targeted by this scam, or have any information that could assist police, please go to your local police station, or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website. Please quote reference 6418335. Information can be provided anonymously.

Media enquiries

Police Media — (02) 5126 9070, act-police-media@afp.gov.au