THE Commonwealth Bank and Australia’s competition watchdog are warning consumers to disregard unsolicited phone calls purporting to be from the bank.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been inundated with reports of scam phone calls asking for residents by name, then pretending to be a representative of the bank soliciting account information in order to ”refund overcharged fees” or other amounts.
The Commonwealth Bank says it does not contact customers to ”refund fees” as the scam claims.
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ACCC deputy chair, Delia Rickard, told Fairfax Media one sophisticated variation of the scam involves an automated call asking for a person by name then telling them to expect a call from the ”Department of Fair Trading” the next day for a refund to be processed.
The second caller then requests bank account or credit card details to debit a ”processing fee” and to refund money. No refunds ever arrive.
“They are very clever. They do a great job of imitating logos, speaking the jargon, pretending to be from a company,” Ms Rickard said.
Ms Rickard said consumers should always initiate their own enquiries, using their bank’s central phone number or website, and never use a phone number or contact details provided by such callers.
The ACCC maintains a website – scamwatch.gov.au – with information on new scams.