Phone scammers namedropping ‘Julia Gillard’, warns local MP Steven Ciobo
31 August 2010
Local MP Steven Ciobo is urging Gold Coasters to be on their guard against scammers using Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s name as part of a telephone swindle.
Mr Ciobo has been contacted by constituents informing him of the nature of the scam calls.
Rip-off merchants make calls to ask for ‘donations’ to a ‘grants fund’, telling their marks that Julia Gillard is encouraging them to give.
The central spiel of the call is that a $100 donation to the fictional grants fund repays the donor with a $5000 reward.
“What’s clear is that this is a scam,” Mr Ciobo said. “No government department would ever ring and say you have to give money to earn some reward.”
Mr Ciobo is incensed that scammers would exploit the uncertainty in Canberra and prey on the community’s confusion over the undecided Federal election.
“With Julia Gillard in the news lately, these scammers obviously think her name will act as some sort of buzzword,” he said.
Mr Ciobo has also renewed warnings against phone scams of any kind.
“The Golden Rule is to never transfer money to any person or organisation you’re not familiar with.”
“A lot of this is common sense. As usual, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”