BALLARAT has been hit by telephone scams with people masquerading as Telstra representatives.
Customers reporting scams to Telstra has increased four-fold in the past year.
Telstra Country Wide south west area general manager Bill Mundy said anecdotally he had heard of more than a dozen people receiving phone calls in the area.
“You can’t know how many there have been,” Mr Mundy said.
“People are often embarrassed if they’ve fallen for the scam and don’t report it to us. You often find what’s being reported is just the tip of the iceberg.
“I’ve have heard of people losing up to and more than $100 or $200.”
He said this type of thing had been going on for some time, but had increased this year.
“The most recent ones have included the person saying they need access to the computer as a virus is affecting the Telstra network, or the NBN connection.”
Alfredton resident Krystal Seehusen said she and her husband had received numerous scam calls, even in the past week.
“They just keep calling back,” Ms Seehusen said.
She said she had only spoken to them on the phone once, but continued to receive phone calls.
“They just say how they want to offer you the best deal, but they don’t really know what they’re talking about,” she said. Mr Mundy encouraged people not to answer calls they believed to be a scam, or just hang up if they were suspicious.
“From a technology point of view, they can make it look like a local number. So people should be wary irrespective of if it’s a local number or not,” Mr Mundy said.
“It’s sometimes easy to identify a scam call purporting they come from Telstra, if they ask for your account details and password. Telstra doesn’t do that.”