RELATED: Scam reports on the increase
Bendigo police are warning people not to fall victim to the latest phone scam hitting the region.
The scam has been doing the rounds across central Victoria for the past few years, but the Bendigo police station has seen a heavy increase in people reporting the scam this week.
Callers claim to be from the tax office and say there is a warrant out for the arrest of the resident.
The scammers ask people to call a number and they must pay a fee in order to resolve the matter.
LISTEN: A recording of a scam message left on a Heathcote household’s voicemail in June 2016.
The warning comes as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reported an increase in scam activity last year.
Bendigo police First Constable Mark Logan said the scammers preyed on vulnerable people in the community.
“Once they get you on the phone they start with their strong-arm tactics to get you to pay,” he said.
“Our advice is for people not to ring the phone number but to go the Australian government’s Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network website and report it.”
First Constable Logan said police were aware of at least one person who had fallen victim to the scam in Bendigo.
“The main thing is for people not to reply, not to fall for it,” he said.
“The Australian Tax Office does not send out those types of messages. If people have any concerns about their tax, call the ATO directly.”
More information can be found on the ACCC’s SCAMwatch website.