Beware of phone scams

A TELEPHONE scam is operating across the Mid North Coast where residents are being offered a bogus $4000 flood grant.

Police have warned: “If it seems too good to be true, then it is.”

The public alert comes after nine residents around the Taree area told police they had fielded suspicious calls this week.

Under the scam, bogus callers urge residents to attend their local post office, with photographic identification, and then call back on a telephone number provided.

Upon returning the call, residents are asked to pay a processing fee to access the $4000 payment.

State Emergency Operations Controller, Deputy Commissioner David Owens, said these calls were a scam and residents should remain vigilant.

“This is a fraudulent operation and any resident contacted should seek to verify the identity of the caller or government department they are claiming to represent,” Deputy Commissioner Owens said.

“Such behaviour belittles the work done by emergency services and volunteers in the area as a part of recovery efforts.

“It is important that residents do not exchange any personal information, including bank account information, to the caller.

“If you are unsure or remain suspicious about the caller, contact your local police station.

“These people have no shame and the NSW Police Force remains committed to prosecuting any one caught operating such activities.”

In the instances that government departments offer natural disaster grants, staff always provide identification and do not require any payment or processing fee.

If you believe you have been the victim of such a scam, you are urged to contact your local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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