FED UP: Lloyd Stewart is sick of scam callers and wants answers to what can be done
FED UP: Lloyd Stewart is sick of scam callers and wants answers to what can be done Trish Bowman

SCAM ALERT: 'They told me my computer would be cut off'

EVERY couple of days Lloyd Stewart's phone rings with a promise of a bargain overseas holiday, an NBN connection or free money.

It all sounds too good to be true, and that's because it is.

Mr Stewart is a repeat target of phone scammers, all seeking to make a quick buck from trusting, everyday people.

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The calls began four weeks ago, when an automated message called Mr Stewart and informed him that NBN would be connected at his home.

"They told me I would be cut off from my computer services," he said.

"They told me to press one or two and then asked for my computer number, my details and even my bank details.

"That's when I hung up.

"This is disgusting. It goes on every two or three days. I just can't any more."

 

Beware scammers pretending to be associated with the nbn rollout.
Beware scammers pretending to be associated with the nbn rollout. RapidEye

On one instance, Mr Stewart was told the caller was a representative of Telstra and that he was owed money to his Telstra account.

"They said 'we're calling you to let you know that there's been a default in your Telstra account'," Mr Stewart said.

"They said they were trying to establish what this defect was and they asked for my bank details so that they could rectify it.

"I said 'righto, Jacko' and I hung up. I pre-pay my bills, I have a direct debit with Telstra.

"They never said anything else about it again."

Frustrated with the calls and concerned about whether there could be any validity behind them, Mr Stewart phoned Telstra directly.

The telecommunications company informed him that if there were any issues with his account, they would write him a letter, not cold call him.

 

Scammers often ring intended victims pretending to be from a well-known company
Scammers often ring intended victims pretending to be from a well-known company Samantha Elley

"As far as I'm concerned, I just hang up. But I'm worried about the older members of the community that would buy this and think they had to do something about it," he said.

Although now adept at recognising scam calls, Mr Stewart was once nearly a victim.

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Read: Police demanding money in latest round of scam calls

"I almost went through with one," he said.

"By the time I'd gone through it I thought 'geez I'm stupid, I've been gullible'.

"I hung up and then paid $300 for computer people from Clicked On Central to go through my computer and clean it right up.

"It gave me peace of mind. They did a very good job."

Frustrated, Mr Stewart said he was appalled with how the scammers seem to get away with ripping people off.

"You don't know if they're real people or not any more," he said.

"They talk about electricity discounts and all sorts of things.

"They say 'I'm so-and-so and we're going to give you things like trips overseas and stuff like that. You can't trust anybody any more."

Mr Stewart is a volunteer at the Emu Park Bowls Club and needs access to his phone number so he can be reached by people wanting to book games and make enquiries.

"I don't see why I should have to change my phone number because of these perilous people," he said.

 

Don't be caught out by scammers
Don't be caught out by scammers herraez

To those concerned about whether the voice on the other end of the phone may have ill intentions, Mr Stewart advises that people just take a moment to listen to what is being said.

"Listen for a minute and say to them 'look I'm recording this, do you mind me recording this?'" he said.

"If they're a scam, they hang up straight away. I've said that before and asked if they can tell me their CEO and the phone number and they just hang up."

Just minutes after the interview ended with The Morning Bulletin, Mr Stewart phoned back.

He had just had another call, this time about solar panels.

"It's getting ridiculous," he said.

"Somebody has got to do something."

To stay up to date on current scams or to report a suspicious call or email, visit www.scamwatch.gov.au.



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