July 5, 2024

Detectives have issued a warning about criminals “spoofing” Queensland Police Service phone numbers to make scam calls look more legitimate.

Recent reports from the Toowoomba area indicate the scammers are using “caller ID spoofing” to manipulate the telephone network to indicate the incoming call is from a different number (in these cases a Queensland Police Service telephone number).

Residents have received a call from what appears to be a trusted or well-known government phone number.

The caller impersonates an employee from the organisation (in this case a police officer) to legitimise the scam.

The scammer then threatens the recipient in relation to an outstanding fine or fee, a tax debt or a warrant for their arrest or deportation and demands payment to prevent action being taken.

This type of scam has been around for some time but police are concerned the version using a spoofed police phone number has an extra layer of deception which may result in more members of the public falling victim.

Detective Acting Superintendent Vince Byrnes, from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group, urged Queenslanders  to always be vigilant when receiving phone calls from people asking for money or personal details.

“Police, or any other legitimate government department or financial institution, will never call you and ask for your personal banking information or payments in gift cards, cryptocurrency or money transfers,” he said.

“It is important to take independent steps to verify a caller’s identity before providing any personal information or payments of any sort, irrespective of the phone number displayed, or who a caller claims to work for.

“Please make your own inquiries if you do receive a phone call from what appears to be a police station. Take down the caller’s details, find a number yourself and dial it in, rather than returning a call you may have missed or were directed to.”

Queensland Police officers will never:

  • Contact you to ask for your Personal Identification Number (PIN) or bank details
  • Ask you to transfer money out of your account
  • Ask you to withdraw cash to hand over to them for safe-keeping
  • Send someone to your home to collect cash, cards or your PIN
  • Never allow a caller remote access to your devices including your computer and telephone.

If you have made a payment to a scammer, contact your financial institution immediately and report the matter to the Australian Cyber Security Centre 

If you did not lose any funds, report the incident to Scamwatch


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