Scammers Target Viptel Customers
- Scammers ask for fee
- Claim to be from Centrelink
- No refunds as a result of court actions against Viptel
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning current and former VIPtel Mobile customers to not respond to any phone calls offering them a refund in exchange for payment of a fee because it is nothing more than a scam.
In order to obtain the promised refund, which the scammer claims is the result of court action, customers are required to pay a fee via money transfer.
“This is a scam, there is no refund available and any money sent will be lost," ACCC deputy chair Peter Kell said. "The ACCC advises VIPtel customers to hang up and not send any money."
In the past 13 weeks the ACCC has received more than 60 complaints and enquiries about the scam, with some reported losses of over $3,000. The ACCC has taken a number of court actions against EDirect Pty Ltd, which at the time traded as VIPtel Mobile. The ACCC confirms there are currently no refunds for any current or former VIPtel Mobile customers as a result of these court actions.
Another sign of the scam is that the caller will say they are from Centrelink or an unspecified government department, a consulting company or may pretend to be a lawyer. The Minister for Human Services, Tanya Plibersek has also issued a warning about these scammers posing as Centrelink employees.
EDirect Pty Ltd is now in external administration and a company called M2 Viptel Pty Ltd has taken over all VIPtel Mobile customer contracts. M2 Viptel is aware of the scam and is taking steps to directly warn all its customers via SMS, invoices and notices on its website at http://www.viptel.com.au/home/