Police urging Tasmanians to be wary of new ‘Lost Phone’ scam

Tasmania Police Logo
Tasmania Police Logo

Police are reminding people to be wary if they receive a message via social media from people pretending to be close family members needing money urgently.

Scammers are sending messages via social media sites such as WhatsApp. The scammers impersonate family members, sending messages that they have lost, broken or had their phone stolen and urgently require funds to be transferred into their account.

This scam results in people transferring funds to a bank account to assist their family member only to find out that it was not their family contacting them.

In these situations, it is likely that one or both family members have had their social media accounts hacked.

“Since last month, at least 10 Tasmanians have reported to police that they’ve been scammed with losses of over $50,000,” said Detective Sergeant Paul Turner.

“It’s timely to remind all Tasmanians to be wary for scams when online – if you are sending money to someone online check the legitimacy and that you know the person before you send any money”.

Some other useful advice:

  • Never provide your identity over the phone without first confirming who you are speaking with via legitimate source.
  • Never send money, digital currency, or gift cards to someone you do not know without first confirming they are legitimate via an independent source.
  • Ensure you have set adequate security settings on your social media and email accounts.

Anyone who thinks they are the victim of a scam should report it to the Australian Cyber Security Centre at https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/report

More information on general scams can be found at https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/

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