Added: April 2014
SCAMwatch and Qantas are warning people about automated calls from scammers posing as Qantas staff claiming that they've won a credit towards their next holiday. If you receive this call, hang up.
Reports have been received from both consumers and businesses about these scam calls, where the recipient picks up the phone and hears a recorded message that claims to be from Qantas. The message will claim that because the person has recently booked a flight with Qantas, they have won a 'travel prize' or 'credit points' – typically $999 – towards their next holiday.
In order to redeem the credit, the person is directed to press '1'. At this point, the person is put directly through to a scammer, who will then state that in order to be eligible for the prize, the person has to ask a few questions first. The scammer may ask whether the person is aged over 30, whether they have a valid credit card, and finally ask for their credit card details so that the prize can be processed.
If you hand over your credit card details, you will find that money has been taken rather than deposited from your bank account.
These scammers appear to be persistent, with some consumers and businesses reporting that they have received several of these calls in one day. Unfortunately scammers pay no heed to private phone numbers or numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register, so if you have a number like this, you can still expect to receive this call.
Qantas advises that their consultants will always call customers directly to discuss their bookings and do not use an automated phone system when contacting customers proactively.
Qantas also advises that you or your business may not even be a customer of Qantas and still receive this scam call.
Scammers often pose as well-known and reputable businesses to try and convince you that they're the real deal – if you receive an automated call out of the blue claiming to be from Qantas, just hang up.
How this scam works
- You receive a phone call out of the blue to your mobile, home or work phone and, when you answer, it goes straight to an automated message claiming to be from Qantas.
- If you have recently flown or booked with Qantas, the recorded message may sound like it's the real deal as the caller thanks you for choosing Qantas and claims that you have been chosen to receive $999 in a 'travel prize', 'credit points' or even 'frequent flyer points' towards your next trip.
- The automated message will direct you to press '1' to find out more information.
- If you dial '1', you will be put directly through to someone claiming to be a representative of Qantas. The caller may congratulate you on your win before stating that you must answer a series of questions in order to qualify for the prize. The caller will typically ask whether you are aged over 30, have a valid credit card, and then finally ask for your credit card details in order to process the prize.
- If you hand over your credit card details, you will find that money has been taken rather than deposited from your bank account.
Note: you may not even be a customer of Qantas and still receive this scam call.
- If you receive an automated phone call out of the blue claiming to be from Qantas, just hang up.
- If you have doubts about the identity of any caller who claims to represent a business, organisation or government department, contact the body directly. Don't rely on contact details provided by the person – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. You can contact the official Qantas Contact Centre on 13 13 13.
- Remember that you can still receive scam calls even if you have a private number or have listed your number on the Australian Government's Do Not Call Register. Scammers can obtain your number fraudulently or from anywhere it has been publicly listed such as in a phone book.
- Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
- If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.
Qantas has posted a statement about this activity on its News Room, 'Scam phone calls purporting to be from Qantas'.
Stay one step ahead of scammers – follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov.
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