Scam targeting Ballarat residents

Ballarat residents have been targeted by a phone scam. PIC:FILE

Ballarat residents have been targeted by a phone scam. PIC:FILE

BALLARAT residents are being targeted by an elaborate phone scam which promises free flights before asking for bank details. 

Residents have reported answering the phone and being greeted by an automated response from "Virgin Australia", which promises access to "999 points".

Virgin Australia have since issued a statement assuring consumers the calls are not coming from them.

Ballarat resident Keith Pitman said he was lucky not to be duped after receiving the call on Monday morning. 

"Luckily for me I realised immediately that something wasn't right," Mr Pitman said. 

"I haven't flown with Virgin for almost 15 years, so I though it was a bit strange when they said I had all these frequent flyer points."

Mr Pitman said he answered his landline about 9am Monday to be greeted by the automated voice. 

He said a real voice then came on the line, immediately asking for his credit card details. 

"I told him I didn't have one and he hung up straight away," Mr Pitman said. 

"Unfortunately there would be plenty of people who fall for this scam."

Virgin Australia's statement said they took privacy "very seriously", adding a number of businesses, including banks and other airlines, had been targeted by the scam. 

"The calls may involve a 'prize' that requires your credit card information to be claimed," the statement said. 

"These calls are not from Virgin Australia.

"We strongly advise customers to hang up immediately if you suspect you have received a scam phone call."

Anyone who has provided their financial details should contact their bank immediately. 

For information on other scams in our area visit www.scamwatch.gov.au

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