Warning as scammers impersonate police to demand payment

SCAMMERS are upping their game, impersonating Police officers in a bid to fleece innocent Queenslanders of their money.

The State Crime Command’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group has issued a warning to residents about a scam using a Queensland Police Service phone number to legitimise a government or Australian Taxation Office (ATO) impersonation scam.

In a statement released on Thursday, Police explained how the criminals are using a practice known as “caller ID spoofing”.


“They inappropriately manipulate the telephone network to indicate the incoming call is from a different number (in this case a QPS number),” the statement explains.

“The scam starts when the criminal calls the victim impersonating a government department. They advise the victim has an outstanding fine or fee with them (for example, the ATO).

“While this type of scam has been doing the rounds for some time, police are concerned this version of the scam has an additional layer which may result in more members of the community falling victim.”

The second part of the scam involves the criminal calling the victim from what appears to be a trusted or well-known government phone number and impersonating an employee from the organisation to legitimise the scam.

“The criminal posing as a police officer threatens you with arrest or states they will commence legal action before demanding a form of payment.”

Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said there are some key things to be aware of.

“We want you to be on your guard and we want you to question anyone who asks you for money,” Detective Superintendent Lawrence said.

“The biggest fault in this scam is that they ask you to pay the fee or fine in gift cards.

“Just know, no government agency, law enforcement or any legitimate organisation will ask you to pay them in gift cards.”

Police have commenced enquiries regarding this scam and the illegal use of the police number.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.