Welcome Santa, not scammers, this Christmas

RACQ Bank has urged Queenslanders to be alert over Christmas and keep a watch over family members who could fall victim to money scams.

Bank spokesperson Clare Hunter said it was worrying some members had been targeted by scammers in recent months through phone scams or so-called romance scams.

“You might be called at home by people claiming to be from Telstra, the Australian Tax Office, Microsoft, or your bank requesting remote access to your computer or internet banking,” Ms Hunter said.

“These fraudsters are ruthless in their approach, and at Christmas, it’s no different – they create panic and scare victims into thinking they’ll be arrested if they don’t comply with demands.”

Ms Hunter said while all age groups were vulnerable, elderly members of the community were rattled by the more aggressive approach of the fraudsters.

“We’re seeing an increase in older Queenslanders being convinced to go to the supermarket to purchase iTunes gift cards or provide the codes to pay a fine to avoid being arrested,” she said.

Ms Hunter said it was a timely reminder to talk to family members to ensure they remained vigilant.

“We’re urging the more tech-savvy family members to have a chat with their parents and grandparents to show them examples of possible scams to get the conversation started,” she said.

“If you or your family members receive any unsolicited phone calls, hang up, and call your bank to let them know, and never give your passwords to anyone.”

Ms Hunter urged Queenslanders to visit ASIC’s Moneysmart website and the Government’s Scamwatch page for information on how to keep safe.

“If you think you or a loved one may have fallen victim to a scam, contact police and visit iDCARE for support.”