Watch Out for This Qantas Phone Scam

24th Nov 2015

A new phone scam is awaiting gullible Australians on the other end of the line, ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) warns in today's statement. Best course of action, ACMA said, was to steer clear of any phone calls that suggest you have won a big cash prize or other award.

The scam is basically a pre-recorded phone call asking the recipient to "press 1" to redeem the cash prize, loyalty reward or frequent flyer points from an airline or hotel chain. If the recipient decides to press 1, instead of hanging up (which he should), a human operator will ask a bunch of questions, including their credit card details.

Eve Osiowy, Manager of Unsolicited Communications Compliance at ACMA said the fraud is not new, having been around since last year, but the scammers now seems to be even more active.

"In the last week or so we've received 32 complaints from consumers so that's what's told us this scam is active again. Scammers will use automatic dialers so they can make thousands of calls but they only talk to people who press one. It's a very effective way to filter people.

According to Osiowy, airlines such as Qantas and Virgin Australia were among the companies hoaxers claimed to be calling from the most.

"They often say you've won $999 but, of course, it could be any money. When they ask for credit card details to verify and book you will find that money has been taken rather than deposited from your bank account. Never give financial or personal information in response to unsolicited calls."

Qantas also warned customers on its website not to trust such a call and said:

"Qantas consultants will always call customers directly to discuss their bookings and do not use an automated phone system when contacting customers proactively."