A North Mackay man has endured a seven hour scam call from 9.30am through to 4.30pm on Monday February 4 – resulting in bank accounts being almost totally emptied.

The scam caller claimed to be from the Australian Taxation Office and told the man that he owed thousands of dollars in back-payments from 2008 through to 2013.

He further threatened the victim that if he did not pay the outstanding amount by 4pm on that same day otherwise two staff members would be attending his home address (which was known to the scam caller) and seize cars, assets and bank accounts belonging to the man.

Deeply concerned by these threats, and hoping to avoid any alleged asset seizures, the victim agreed to make the payments.

He was instructed to attend a series of local businesses to purchase large quantities of iTunes cards before taking a photograph of the verification codes and forwarding them to the scam caller.

After carrying out this task and paying the alleged debt in this fashion the man’s bank accounts were virtually empty.

He was then informed that a final payment was required to ensure the two staff members employed to seize his assets were properly paid!  In fact, he was offered a discount to ensure this occurred…

The man attended his local financial institution in an attempt to borrow money to meet this alleged final payment and staff at the business immediately and correctly identified the matter as a scam and informed the victim.  As a result he suffered no more financial loss.

You can read the latest information provided by the real Australian Taxation Office about scammers activities and how you can confirm if the person you are talking to is actually from the A.T.O. Click here to view this information.

You can read information provided by Scamwatch relating to the purchase of iTunes cards at the request of scam callers – the information is two years old but still relevant – click here to view this information.

Do you want to better understand the methods of phone scammers in general?  Here is a fact sheet on phone scams provided by ID CARE (victim support organisation) – click here to view this information.

Finally… if you or someone you know has been impacted by a phone scam in a similar fashion, please report the matter promptly through the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

Mackay Police have been reliably informed that phone scams of a similar nature have happened in the last two weeks.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QI1900255180