Do Not Call Register targeted by scammers

Hang up on scammers, ACCC and ACMA advises

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have jointly issued warnings to consumers following a spike in the number of complaints both regulators have received in the past two months about phone scammers.

According to ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, the number of complaints received has risen tenfold from 200 per month to around 2000 across the two agencies.

The most common scams hitting unsuspecting consumers include a phishing scam where callers inform people that their computer has a virus, offering a debug service if the potential victim hands over their credit card details; callers offering products, services and cash under fake government grants; callers trying to acquire bank details to process bank fee refunds or tax refunds; callers requesting fees to add a person’s number on the Do Not Register list; and recorded messages asking consumers to “dial nine” for a ‘free’ vacation.

The warning quickly drew a response from the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, who said he was "particularly concerned" that some scammers were targeting the Do Not Call Register and suggesting consumers pay a fee to register their number.

“I would like to remind consumers that they can quickly and easily register their numbers on the Do Not Call Register for free," he said in a statement.

To avoid falling victim to preying scammers, the ACCC and ACMA have advised Australians to be cautious and not disclose their personal information to anyone over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from a government department or well-known company.

“Consumers can stop themselves being scammed by never disclosing any personal or financial details to these callers,” ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel, said in a statement. “Cutting off the lifeline is the best way to disrupt scammers.”

In the event that people have given their banking details to scammers, victims are advised to contact their bank immediately and to report the scam to the ACCC and the ACMA.

Tags scammersdo not call registeracccSenator Stephen ConroyACMA

More about Australian Competition and Consumer CommissionAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission

21 Comments

Junk Call Terminator

1

How about checking the caller's ID, and listen for 10 seconds. If it is not relevant, unwanted, then tell the caller to F^&k Off in strongest terms and hang up.This will discourage phone spammers and telemarketing ar%eholes, which you don't really need to care for, and is redundant these days. Anything you want to buy can be found on the Net on your own at your convenient. So, repeat after me: F$%K OFF! GET ANOTHER JOB!!!

Iain

2

I'm with you Junk Call Terminator...I give the same to door to door pests as well... I've found that an umpires whistle, blown hard , works really well over the phone.

Italicus

3

i work as a telemarketer, its one of the hardest jobs out there. constant rejection and jerks telling you to F off or just hanging up can hugely effect your state of mind. i've seen grown men cry and heard of people self harming. i use to be one of these jerks so i know exactly how good it makes you feel to scream at some person you don't care about and/or will never meet face to face. but the reality of it is we all have to work and and make a buck some how. and abusing someone for doing there job is petty and wont get you anywhere. in fact it will put you in a worse position. be polite say i'm not interested and can you please take me off your call list. is the best way to assure these calls wont happen again. join the Do Not Call Register make your number silent.

Bob_WA

4

Italicus, we telemarketees have no alternative. I work from home with a registered business name so my number is fair game even to local telemarketers. (Overseas they don't give a toss about the Do Not Call register anyway). But yes, I do swear on the phone, several times a day. My belief is that telemarketers have their own private "do not call" list of people so rude that they will never be called again. And my sincerest wish is to be on that list. Sorry if that hurts but Australia's unemployment level is fairly low. Get out of the game if you can.

Steve

5

I agree Italicus, responding by being abusive just demonstrates that you are low class and uneducated. There is no need to reduce yourself to that level of behaviour. If people are trying to genuinely sell a product why should they be abused? There are options for those who don't like receiving these calls.
I agree that scammers need to be stopped which can be done as discribed in the article above. However, how you respond reflects the sort of person you are.

Herp

6

These aren't telemarketers. These are scammers. Big difference. Cold calling someone because they purchased a product or put their name on a list to receive "more information" isn't illegal [unless your name is on the Do Not Call list and doesn't fall into the exceptions]. But getting people to hand over personal/financial info so that you can steal from them is illegal.

Don't worry, I hate telemarketers too. But you should have no sympathy for the people breaking the law in this way. My father in law got a call about the "you have a virus" scam and I just happened to show up mid way through the call. I'm an IT guy so I spent about 30 minutes wasting their time asking them technical questions until they just hung up on me when I realized I knew it was a scam.

Trish H

7

Italicus, you obviously have no idea how you people can come across. I find cold callers threatening, insistent and obtuse. I get roughly 5 calls a day on both my work and my silent number. I used to try to be polite but I got call backs, ongoing loud dialogue, increasingly strident spruiking and even abuse when I said I wasn't interested. You signed up for this when you took the job. We did not. I don't think people trying to earn an honest living should be subjected to this and I would personally welcome criminal charges against cold call selling. The fact is it's actually quite hard to tell scammers from plain old spruikers because they are both unwelcome and devious in my book. So Italicus, now that you are aware how upset I am about it, and how upset a lot of people get, why don't you do the polite thing and stop phoning us?

Skippy

8

@Italicus

"One of the hardest jobs out there" - how whiningly self-pitying. Try joining the army!

Being polite would give the impression that the person being called somehow thinks your job is a legitimate one. To me, your point of view is like saying "I'm a bank robber and it's sooo hard, people can be really nasty". You went into this loathsome job by choice, knowing from your own experience how repugnant it is to receive unwanted give-me-some-money calls, but now - Hey! There's a quid in it for you, so it's ok!

Get an honest job.

inthenameofreason

9

We condem spam as a curse that is unsolicited email sent for nothing but the selfish reasons of the sender. It disrupts the internet and places a cost as well as major annoyance on the user. Phone sellers are the same, they are only out for their own selfish ends. It matters not if they say in that false way " and how are you today" they do not care. Then there are those that are not proud of the fact that they are selling something or that the object of the exercise is to lead to a sale of sales situation. They swear that they are not selling anything. If all the retail outlets, supermarkets, dept stores, local coffeee shops, plumbers, funeral home or florists all decided to start wasting and interupting folks time to flog there stuff we would never get any peace. You say be polite to them you try being that way when you have been trying to add up the same figures 7 times or talk to your customer and get nterupted or your customers try to ring you and cannot get through because some selfish twit want to ask "how are you to day"
"Go forth and multiply"

Peter C

10

Telemarketers are just an annoyance, the legitimate ones, I tend to be polite because I do understand that they are just doing "A" job. Most of them understand that they have been outclassed when I tell them very clearly that I dont buy anything on the phone or on an email, "send me something in the mail" usually gets them off my back. The scammers, and you know it when they talk to you, I tell them that I'm the Pope and they can send me something in the mail. Usually is the last I hear!!

dontwakemeup

11

i used to do shift work and the most annoying thing is when you get woken up by ....anyone really.
i can turn my fone off, but need a gate/fence to stop them knocking on my door. and when i go back to my sleep i dream of tasering them :P

Jason

12

half the time they don't show their number, they block it.

pelbo

13

Sound serious when you reply, "I would like to do what you say but I don't have a phone"

Listen for the pin to drop in the silence and quietly hang up. For some strange reason, they never phone back.

marginally mad

14

I had one of the phone calls telling me I had a virus. I was told he could fix it by turning on my computer.. Funny the computer was already on. I said "Why should I do anything for you"? "You are probably a Scammer" He hung up.
I put a no Hawker sign on my door , hopefully that will deter those who want to annly me at the door.

Ben

15

You know, you really have to be fairly thick to fall for this kind of a scam to begin with. If you ever do fall for such Phishing activities to begin with then you probably should not own a phone to begin with. There are a large number of anti-virus products for free from many reputable places for both the iphone and Android phones and no one should ever pass credit card information over the phone. This is a no brainer. It just so happens that as certain generations get older they are more liable to fall for these freakish phone calls out of panic and not understanding the technology we deal with on a daily basis. Nokia even goes out of thier way to point out that with the Symbian Operating System there is really no reliable virus that can 'steal' data from your phone. It's time to get with the times, Scammers have been around forever, this is just another medium for them to exploit.

BA

16

Despite being on the DNCR, my mother [ a little hard of hearing ] is continually bombarded with this irritating nonsense. There's a little trick I taught her that has proven quite effective. Listen for a response to your first "Hello?". If it takes longer than 500 milliseconds to arrive, immediately hang up -- you know you are a victim of the dial-ahead system in use at most of the larger marketeering companies.

Not sure this will help with those pests from smaller organisations or scammers though.

John Bright

17

It might help if the authorities actually charged marketers for not obeying the Do Not Call Register. I made a complaint and they said they don't pursue prosecutions but rather they "will be focusing on providing education in the first instance". With this wet tissue approach to enforcement aginast marketers they might as well put out the welcome mat for scammers!

dim bulb

18

scammers are fun , kinda like poking a snake with a stick

I got the virus call a few times , I pretended dumb and went thru yes computer is on , it is plugged into wall , no its not working .... wait I need internet ? I dont even have a phone ..that gets a silence and then hang up at their end

telemarketers , I kinda feel sorry for , I know that job from both ends of the phone , the cold calling at the door I also know personally .

WHile its annoying to have to deal with it could be worse it could be politicians youre dealing with ......

coc9

19

I am always polite but also take the piss out of them. When they try to sell something I just tell them no I'm a tight ass. I once donated $50 to a charity and now they keep callilng back at least twice a week. Even if I say take me off your database I still seem to get calls because other companies network with them so you are all probably on 100s of databases. A charity for breast cancer once rang me 3 times in a day. I ended up saying that i have breast cancer and any money should be left for me.

Kenny

20

The long and the short of it is most people and are sick of this type of intrusion,The Do Not Call register is a great idea but does not go far enough.Conroy lost the battle to get the register put across to business.I feel this is the next battlefield as telesales business is to make money and if they are no longer able to from the private consumer,Australian business will be inundated with even more call's then they do now.This is were I put in my shameless plug! I started a Do Not Call Register for business people and as of today over 500 small to medium size business people are members with more joining each day.Until the Australian Government step in and help we can offer protection.
www.myheadoffice.com.au

mary mcgarity

21

i DO NOT CALL Register i do not won't people me on my home bother me at all

Comments are now closed

Telstra unveils interoperable videoconferencing service

READ THIS ARTICLE
DO NOT SHOW THIS BOX AGAIN [ x ]