Phone scam circulates in the South Burnett

IF YOU pick up the phone and the stranger on the other end claims to be from an accident and emergency unit, claiming you owe money to cover an insurance or ambulance fee, hang up.

Nanango woman Evelyn Muller received a phone call from a man claiming to be from a local accident and emergency department before he asked her for money.

"The man, in quite clear English, said someone connected to my phone number had been involved in a car accident," she said.

"They wanted my credit card details to cover insurance and the ambulance fee.

"He clearly didn't know the area so I knew straight off it was a scam."

Although friends and family had been contacted by scammers before, Ms Muller had never been a target herself.

"Of course I had great pleasure in telling them which direction their head should go and hung up," she said.

Miss Muller didn't know where the call came from but said another woman had told her she had received a similar phone call from a Sydney number.

She wanted to warn people, especially disabled or elderly, that they shouldn't give their credit card details to anyone over the phone.

"I knew it was a scam straight away but you don't know how some people will react in those situations, especially if they're worried about a loved one," Miss Muller said.

A spokesperson from Queensland Ambulance Service said they'd received many scams over the years, but this particular one they hadn't come across.

"Anyone who is a Queensland resident is automatically covered by ambulance services and we never solicit donations over the phone ever," the spokesperson said.

"The only time anyone would have to pay is if someone is interstate or overseas."

Miss Muller said people should always double check with the legitimate organisation before handing out money.

"Ask the person for their phone number and name and ring the hospital or police station and get confirmation this way," she said.

"By the time you hand out your details, it's too late."

Permanent Queensland residents are automatically covered for emergency pre-hospital ambulance treatment and transport Australia-wide.

If you believe you have been the target of a scam phone the police or report the scam to ScamWatch by visiting http://www.scamwatch.gov.au.

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