South Burnett residents have been receiving scams recently.
South Burnett residents have been receiving scams recently. DERRICK DEN HOLLANDER

Scam callers target the South Burnett

REPORTS of scams are on the rise, with South Burnett residents taking to social media to warn others about the current dangers.

Kingaroy resident Tessia Brown received a call on Saturday from someone who said they were from Telstra.

"I just got a call from 'Telstra' informing me that every time we browse the internet on our computer, files are downloading onto the computer and that has alerted Telstra,” Ms Brown said.

"Unless I go into my computer and follow their instructions my internet will be cut within the next two hours.

"When I told him my computer is not connected to the internet, which is true, he told me to connect it then follow his instructions.”

Ms Brown said she kept questioning the man on the phone.

"I pointed out it's Saturday, that we don't browse on the computer,” she said.

Ms Brown told the scammer she would call Telstra to confirm the call was genuine.

"I told him after the security checks I would be happy to follow any instructions given to me,” she said.

"He said something like 'well, your internet is about to be cut off, enjoy that' and then hung up.

"When I got off the phone my 15-year-old son said he answered the same phone call the night before, but he wasn't so polite so they hung up on him.”

According to SCAMWatch, this specific Telstra scam has been around since 2014.

"If you receive a phone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be a representative of Telstra and their call relates to a problem with your internet connection, just hang up,” SCAMWatch said in a statement in 2014.

"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.

"Never give a stranger remote access to your computer, even if they claim to be from a reputable business.”

According to SCAMWatch, there were 504 reports of remote access type scams in January 2017.

Australians lost $209,168 through the scam.

About 8% of the reported scams contained a financial loss, 80% of remote access scams were delivered over the phone and the majority of people targeted by scammers were over 55.

Australians lost $83,563,599 on all types of scams in 2016.

You can report scams to SCAMWatch at http://bit.ly/1ItmlIY or by phoning 1300 795 995.

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