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Aussies warned over ‘undercover police’ phone call

Scammers are pretending to be undercover police and trying to steal people’s cash.

Phone scam
Bank of Queensland is urging Aussies to watch out for a new scam targeting seniors. (Source: Getty)

Bank of Queensland (BOQ) is urging Aussies to watch out for a new scam that is targeting seniors.

BOQ said it had received reports of an influx of calls being made by scammers pretending to be undercover police.

The scammer claims there is a hacker inside BOQ trying to steal the victim’s money. They then ask them to withdraw cash from a BOQ branch and tell them to provide a cover story to the bank, such as that they are travelling overseas or have medical bills.

As part of the elaborate scam, the fraudsters will give out a fake name, badge or staff number and a fake reference number to try to enhance their credibility.

After the victim gets the cash, the scammers will actually visit their home and physically collect the cash, BOQ said.

BOQ customer advocate Ben Griffin said the scam was targeting older people and those who were most vulnerable.

“These scammers create layers of information by fabricating scenarios and creating fictitious personas to create the illusion of a sophisticated sting operation. Their efforts will even go as far as convincing you to not tell friends, family or even the bank,” Griffin said.

The police will never ask you to hand over cash or transfer them money directly, Griffin said. If you are called by someone you think is suspicious, take note of their name and badge number and contact your local police station.

“Too often we hear from customers who wanted to question a suspicious interaction but were unsure who to talk to,” Griffin said.

BOQ said to never disclose personal information if you received an unexpected phone call and to never send or give money to someone you hadn’t met in person. If the phone caller is putting pressure on you to do something, like withdraw cash, hang up.

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