Scammers pose as police in new rort

Scammers have taken to passing themselves off as police in the latest phone scam to hit the area.

Braidwood resident Cassandra Scaife received a call just before midday last Wednesday from a man who said he was from "police community business".

Ms Scaife, who trims horses' hooves as a hobby-cum-microbusiness, said she was surprised the caller knew the name of her business.

"The first thing the guy asked me was if I was the owner of the business," Ms Scaife said.

"I found that interesting because I do this more as a hobby than a business, so the only place I advertise is on two very specific websites, and I have some business cards at local vets.

"But none of those ads nor my cards include my phone number. The only contact is my email address. I don't even have a website.

"So he has gone to a lot of trouble to find me, which is quite concerning."

Ms Scaife said the man didn't identify himself, but said he was organising "police community events" and was inviting local businesses to donate money.

As the conversation continued, he asked Ms Scaife what else she was involved in.

"At that point I became very suspicious and asked again who he was and where he was from.

"He became quite evasive and quickly said, 'Sorry to trouble you' and ended the call.

Ms Scaife contacted police and posted her experience on the local residents FaceBook site. Others on the FaceBook site said they had received similar calls.

"I think we are all used to getting emails saying there is a problem with our bank account, or we need to fix our NBN connection, or from Nigerian lotteries offering us millions of dollars.

"But this is the type of scam that could easily fool people with hobby businesses into parting with their money."

This latest scam came just a week after National Scams Awareness Week, which this year had the theme of "Too smart to be scammed?"

Promoting the campaign, the ACCC said Australians were set to lose a record amount to scams in 2019, with losses expected to exceed $532 million by the end of the year, surpassing half a billion dollars for the first time.

"Many people are confident they would never fall for a scam, but often it's this sense of confidence that scammers target," ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

"People need to update their idea of what a scam is so that we are less vulnerable. Scammers are professional businesses dedicated to ripping us off."

If you suspect you have been scammed, go to scamwatch.gov.au or call police.

This story Scammers first appeared on Braidwood Times.

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