Scammers target local residents

July 7, 2024 BY

Hang up: Those unsure whether they're speaking to a Moorabool Shire staffer or a scammer are encouraged to terminate the call, and contact municipal offices to check. Photo: FILE

MOORABOOL Shire officers are urging residents not to hand over personal information amid claims fraudsters are impersonating local government workers.

The municipality confirmed it had received reports from residents who claimed they’d been contacted by shire employees.

Moorabool Shire Council chief executive Derek Madden asked residents to remain alert when they received calls from people asking for personal information.

“We have been made aware of residents receiving phone calls purporting to be from Moorabool Shire Council,” he said.

“These are scam calls and not authorised by council so we advise residents to hang up if they receive such a call.”

Mr Madden said it was still unclear what information Moorabool residents had been asked during the phone calls.

“We do at times contract companies to make calls on our behalf for purposes such as customer satisfaction surveys, and of course, we make phone calls directly to our residents about council matters,” he said.

“If you are unsure, feel free to tell the caller you want to verify directly with council if a call is legitimate, get a name, hang up and ring us.”

According to the National Anti-Scam Centre, Australians reported losing up to $2.74 billion to scams last year.

Phone scams remained the most commonly reported, with Australians losing more than $141 million in 2023.

Older Australians also lost more money than other age groups, with $121 million stolen from those aged 65 and over.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe said people were more diligent in reporting scams than ever.

“We are optimistic that our combined efforts will continue to reduce scam losses,” she said.

“We will continue this important work because losses remain too high and behind the numbers are real people who have lost money, often every last cent, to scams.

“Good data and intel sharing is also key and we will be adding to the number of parties sending data into the National Anti-Scams Centre having made good progress on sending data out.”

Scams can be reported online at