Police are warning people to be vigilant after an elderly Canberra woman was defrauded by a heartless telephone scammer, claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office.
The scammer is believed to have told the 75-year-old woman that she owed money, and threatened to arrest her if the debt was not paid.
Police said the woman was defrauded out of a large sum of money after being made to purchase a number of Apple iTunes cards.
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The incident has prompted officials to issue an urgent warning to the community.
“Often the call comes from what appears to be an Australian phone number and the person claims to be from a government agency. They say that the victim must repay a debt and may also threaten arrest if the victim doesn’t pay,” Station Sergeant Meagher said.
“We urge members of the public to spread the word, particularly if they know someone who would be vulnerable to this type of scam. By raising awareness about how these scams work, we can prevent these callous incidents from occurring.”
“If you receive a call or email out of the blue from someone claiming to represent an organisation, saying that you are entitled to or owe money – hang up or delete the email immediately. If you are unsure, look up the organisation’s official number and call them to discuss.”