Cold call scammers target NRMA president

Scammers claiming to represent NRMA Insurance have cold called NRMA Motoring and Services president Wendy Machin.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Stuart Ayres has now issued a warning to consumers about scammers cold calling claiming to represent ‘injury Australia group’ and NRMA Insurance and seeking personal details related to accident claims.

 In recent weeks scammers have blitzed the Fair Trading offices in Parramatta, with staff members giving them various degrees of angry responses and taking note of the scammers’ phone number 0445 205 555 6554.

 “The scammers start by suggesting someone at the address they have called has been involved in an accident in the past three years and the person is entitled to compensation of thousands of dollars but the caller needs to confirm details for their database,” Mr Ayres said.

 “These scams are designed to harvest your personal details that can then be used to defraud you.

To avoid identity theft, never give out your personal or bank account details to somebody you don’t know or trust and never send your credit card or bank details in response to unsolicited approaches on the phone, via emails or text.

 “If you receive a phone call that you think may be genuine, you should not ignore the possibility that there actually has been some fraud with your bank account or credit card. Ask the caller for details, then hang up and call your bank or credit union to tell them what has happened.

 “Make sure the phone number you ring is genuine. If you have lodged a genuine accident insurance claim, call the insurer and let them know you have received a call.”

President of NRMA Motoring & Services, Wendy Machin, a recent recipient of a scam call, said the caller alleged a connection to the Motor Accidents Authority and offered to help her get compensation.

 “The caller who contacted me was pushy and sounded quite authoritative, as if they already knew a bit about my history. When quizzed more, they hung up. I think these scammers are playing the odds – they know chances are a few people will have had some sort of crash and they can talk their way into a scam claim on their behalf,” she said.

“People need to be wary of these cold calls – I think if you have had a recent incident, you should have a claim number and the caller should know it if they are the real deal.”

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) CEO Rob Whelan said in recent months, insurers had become aware of an increase in unsolicited calls to motorists that promote compensation services or ask for personal information.

 “These calls can follow a car accident and the caller may attempt to refer the motorist to a claims or compensation service. The ICA strongly encourages anyone receiving an unsolicited call to protect their personal information,” he said.

For more information on scams or for advice call Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or Scamwatch on 1300 795 99

Wendy Machin

Wendy Machin