Warning on bank refund scams


 rod Stowe

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is again warning residents across the state to avoid being scammed by offers of refunds on bank fees.

Mr Stowe said Fair Trading had received several reports this year about the perennial bank refund scam.

“Gosford Fair Trading Centre received four calls last week from the Gorokan Kanwal area,” he said.

“Consumers reported receiving offers of a refund on bank fees. Scammers told some people Fair Trading would contact them the following day.

“One scammer used the name Allan Spencer from Parramatta and the name Thomas Hepwell was also given.

They provided a contact number of 02 8006 2544.”

Mr Stowe said it was not the first time scammers had pretended to be officers from Fair Trading.

“Scammers trade on consumer trust in Fair Trading and other government agencies, but people should know that no government agency cold calls you offering money,” he said.

“That’s a dead set give away you are being scammed.”

The Commissioner said one woman had last week mistakenly provided her bank account details to the scammers.

“When she contacted Fair Trading, she was advised to alert her bank immediately,” he said.

Bank refund fee scams are common and a major con.

Fair Trading issues regular warnings to NSW residents to be on the look out for scam callers claiming to be from government agencies or banks.

Scammers tell consumers they have obtained funds owing to them from a bank and that in order to receive the money, people need to deposit money for administrative purposes.

Scammers often know a number of the consumer’s personal details such as a date of birth, address or bank account details.

If you get a call from someone telling you that you are entitled to a refund of overpaid bank fees and they ask you to deposit money into a Western Union account or via uKash, or they ask for your bank account details, you know you are on the phone to a scammer.

Never give out personal or financial details over the phone. Check up, if in doubt about the legitimacy of any calls or emails. Always look up phone numbers in an independent directory.

Scammers take millions of dollars from individuals and businesses every year.

To report a scam call Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or go to www.scamwatch.gov.au

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