21 April 2014

Qantas warns Australians of automated phonecall scam

SCAMwatch and Qantas are warning Australians about calls from scammers posing as Qantas staff

According to SCAMwatch, the recipient picks up the phone and hears a recorded message that claims to be from Qantas. The message will claim that because the person has recently booked a flight with Qantas, they have won a ‘travel prize’ or ‘credit points’ – typically A$999 – towards their next holiday.

In order to redeem the credit, the person is directed to speak with a scammer, who will ask for personal details, including credit card details. Those who give their credit card details will find that money has been taken rather than deposited into their bank accounts.

"These scammers appear to be persistent, with some consumers and businesses reporting that they have received several of these calls in one day," noted the SCAMwatch warning.

A statement on the Qantas website said that Qantas consultants "will always call customers directly to discuss their bookings and do not use an automated phone system when contacting customers proactively". "These calls are not from us, and can easily be identified as unauthentic," the airline said. 

Some ways that scammers can uncover whether someone is a Qantas customer, Qantas noted, include “harvesting” software that search the Internet for customer information.