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Consumers are warned about lost phone or new number scams

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has warned unsuspecting consumers to beware of scammers posing as family members using text or WhatsApp messages in an attempt to steal money or financial information.

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). he is aware of reports of scammers posing as family members claiming to have changed their number and asking you to save a new number in your phone.

“Beware of text or WhatsApp messages that appear to be from a loved one using an unknown number, asking for money, or that you delete/block their old number. This is likely a scam,” warns the ACMA.

“These messages often start with ‘Hi mum’ and can provide several different reasons why they are using a different phone number, including changing providers or having a lost or broken phone.

“These scams are designed to trick you into handing over money or financial information to a scammer.”



The ACMA warns that if you reply to these messages, the scammer “will end up asking for money for some sort of emergency, including buying a new phone or paying an urgent bill.”

“If you receive a message like this, you can call or contact your parent on their regular number or messaging app to confirm it’s legit,” the ACMA suggests.

“Scammers target everyone. Learn more about how to protect yourself from phone scams at ACMA website or report to Scam watch.

“If you are the victim of a scam, contact your financial institution and telephone company and let them know what happened as soon as possible. DCARE can help you if your identity has been compromised or stolen on 1800 595 160 or https://www.idcare.org/

This latest identity theft scam follows a similar warning to consumers in July from the ACMA on ongoing scams where scammers pose as well-known telecommunications or technology companies like Telstra, NBN Co and Microsoft.

“They claim to alarm you, for example that your broadband has been hacked or that your computer has a virus or that there are problems with your internet or phone connection,” the ACMA warned last month.

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