Police warn of phone scam targeting Ballina residents
POLICE are warning people to be wary of suspicious phone calls, following a scam was identified in the Ballina area.
Posting on social media, Richmond Police District reported a 23-year-old woman received a phone call from scammers impersonating Service NSW employees and NSW Police officers.
The scammers informed the victim she was under investigation for tax fraud, and there was a warrant out for her arrest.
"The tricky thing here is the phone number that came up on her mobile phone screen was that of Ballina Police Station," the social media post said.
"After the initial call, the victim was contacted through Whats App messaging.
"It's the same old story, the scammers convince the victim that if she follows a few simple steps, the matter would be resolved without prosecution.
"The scammers convinced the victim to transfer a large amount of money into a 'safe keeping account', as well as purchasing thousands of dollars worth of Google Play vouchers.
"All the codes for the vouchers were forwarded to the scammers."
The police warn it's not always easy to identify a scam.
"Scammers often have some information about you to begin with, and are continually improving their skills of trickery," the post said.
"They can now display NSW Police Station phone numbers on your incoming calls screen.
"One thing you can be certain of is that police will not ask you transfer money into an account or to purchase vouchers and iTunes cards.
"Warrant matters can only be resolved by handing yourself in.
"In this case, hanging up and calling the station back would have confirmed it was a scam.
We ask our community members to be vigilant.
"Share information about scams and if ever in doubt, please call your local police station for advice."
For information about scams, please visit www.scamwatch.gov.au.