‘I’m elderly but I’m not stupid’: Mandurah woman warns of new phone scam

An elderly Mandurah woman is urging others to be conscious of scammers' tricks after a scam scare earlier this week. Photo: Shutterstock.
An elderly Mandurah woman is urging others to be conscious of scammers' tricks after a scam scare earlier this week. Photo: Shutterstock.

A Halls Head woman is warning residents of a new phone scam after she was almost tricked into revealing personal information to a caller claiming to be from the federal government.

Veronica Greenham received a call earlier this week informing her that her registration on the ‘Do Not Call’ list would expire the next day.

“He told me I only had that afternoon to fix the issue and that he could help me,” Mrs Greenham said.

“But then he started to ask me very personal questions and I started to get suspicious.”

After refusing to reveal her details, Mrs Greenham proceeded to ask the caller what government department he was phoning from, which is when he abruptly hung up.

“I’m elderly, but I’m not stupid,” she said.

“I know for a fact the next question would be for my bank details and that I had to pay a small fee.

“I could feel it coming, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

“The guy was really slick for the first few minutes and it gave me a fright that he managed to keep me talking as long as he did.”

Mrs Greenham called the telecommunications ombudsmen and a number of government officials to find out about the scam and confirm her place on the ‘Do Not Call’ register.

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She was informed that there were no plans to dismantle the register.

ScamNet reports that many Western Australians receive phone calls from scammers claiming to be from the federal government.

Mrs Greenham and her husband want to warn the Mandurah community, particularly the elderly, who they believed would be the prime target for the scam. 

“I’m angry that I nearly got caught and I really hope nobody else does,” she said.

“I don’t know if they target older people but I doubt I’m the only one.

“I don’t know how they sleep at night.”

Tips from ScamNet:

  • Never confirm or provide personal details, credit card numbers or other account information over the phone unless you initiated the call and can verify the purpose for which you are providing that information.
  • Do not pay up-front fees to receive money in return (ask for it be deducted from what you are owed instead) and know that Australian government agencies and official organisations do not use wire transfer as a payment method.
  • Say no and hang up if a cold caller wants remote access to your computer even if they claim to be from a reputable IT or telecommunications company.
  • Remember, you can still receive scam calls even if you have a private number or have your number listed on the ‘Do Not Call’ register – scammers can obtain your number fraudulently from black-market sources.

For more information and tips visit the ScamNet website or call 1300 30 40 54.

Have you fallen for a scam? Or want to warn others about one? Share your story with us via editor.mandurahmail@fairfaxmedia.com.au