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Residents reminded to be cautious of scams

COMMUNITY members are being urged to stay vigilant after reports of phishing scams begin to circulate in the Lockyer Valley.

They come as a timely reminder to be wary of attempts to collect personal data and banking details.

Gatton Police Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Rowland Browne said while there had been no spike in reported scams, community members should verify communication before providing their details.

"Always check the validity of any email or text and do not use a link unless you know it is genuine," Snr Sgt Browne said.

"If you get a text or email from what appears to be a trusted institution do not log on through the link in their email or text.

"If you get a sudden and unexpected bill from an institution check it is correct by ringing them on their official number on their official website, not the number on the email or text you receive."

As well as checking the official website, resources such as Google, Acorn and The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's website Scamwatch can be used to identify if communications are legitimate.

Scamwatch data shows Australians were scammed out of nearly $13 million in July alone, across the nine different categories of scam.

Investment scams, dating and romance, and remote access scams were the top three categories with those over the age of 45 being the worst affected.

Major supermarkets, often impersonated by scammers, have emphasised that they will never ask customers for their personal or banking details in unsolicited communications.

A Woolworths spokesperson said while all known scams were reported to the ACCC's Scamwatch, customers should be cautious.

"Woolworths will never ask our customers for their personal or banking details in unsolicited communications," the spokesperson said.

Via a statement on its website, Coles warned customers of the bogus communications, which inform customers they have won a gift card.

"Coles advises customers to be aware of text messages, phone calls, websites, competitions and other unsolicited contact that use the Coles brand without Coles' permission or which promote Coles Gift Cards or other gift cards in an attempt to appear legitimate," it read.

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