A CUNNING scam promising $999 in free flights and holidays has reached Tamworth.
After fielding three calls in 24 hours from the scammers, Tamworth solicitor Leonie Hansen decided to go public amid fears some locals might be duped.
The con involves a recorded message, which claims to be from Qantas or Virgin and arrives via a private number, telling recipients they have won “credit points” – typically worth $999 – to be used towards their next
holiday. Once a target accepts the call, they are asked by an operator to provide credit card details to confirm the prize.
Qantas, Virgin and NSW Fair Trading have all issued warnings about the scam.
Complicating matters for Mrs Hansen, she already had upcoming travel booked with both airlines, making the scam potentially more believable.
“The first caller claimed to be from Virgin Australia and transferred the call to someone who wanted to confirm my name, whether I was over 30 and if I was a credit card holder,” Mrs Hansen said.
“I asked who she was and how come she had my number.
“She identified herself as being from Southern Pacific Promotions, saying Virgin was one of their sponsors and that Virgin had passed on my contact details to them.
“She went on to say she just needed to ask a few questions to process my ‘prize’.”
Suspicion aroused, Mrs Hansen told the caller she would contact Virgin to confirm and hung up.
Mrs Hansen has received two similar calls this week.
The widespread scam has even attempted to target Fair Trading authorities, NSW Fair Trading Minister Matthew Mason-Cox said.
“Consumers, businesses and airlines are also reporting the scam,” Mr Mason-Cox said.
“If you answer your phone to an automated message saying you have been chosen to receive $999 towards your next flight or holiday and to press one – you’ve been scammed.
“There is no end to the variety of scams or the devious devices scammers will employ to take people’s money and personal information.
“The promise of a credit on flights may be appealing but I urge people to hang up on these calls.”
He urged people to report scams to Fair Trading on 13 32 20.