Bank scam hits Tasmania

POLICE have warned that at least seven Tasmanians have fallen victim to a money transfer scam.

In one case, a person transferred more than $9000 to the scammers in separate transactions.

Police have received reports from victims of the scam, which originates from overseas, predominantly India.

In most cases, the victims are elderly and have received a call from a person purporting to be from either a banking institution or an agency such as the Department of Fair Trading.

The victim is informed that the bank has been incorrectly overcharging them for various banking fees totalling a substantial value, in excess of $15,000 in some cases.

The victim is then told that in order to have the funds returned they must pay various fees and taxes, and do so by transferring money via Western Union to an address in India.

Once the victim transfers the money to India they may be contacted again by the scammer, instructing them to send more money. 

The victim often continues to send money to India in the hope they will receive a large sum of money in return, but in reality they receive nothing.

Police advise that legitimate banking institutions will not ask you to send money overseas via Western Union. 

Tasmania Police urges members of the public to avoid sending money overseas or interstate to people they don't know.

Victims of money scams are urged to report them to the Advanced Fee Fraud Online Reporting System hosted by Queensland Police at www.police.qld.gov.au or contact Tasmania Police by calling 131 444.

To report a scam where no financial loss has occurred or for further information visit www.scamwatch.gov.au

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