BE AWARE when answering the phone - if it sounds too good to be true; it probably is - is the message local residents are sending to others.

Avenell Heights resident Madonna Ryan contacted the NewsMail after she received a call from a man claiming to be from the Federal Government who said the department owned her several thousand dollars in over charged bank fees.

Mrs Ryan said she received the phone call on her landline at around lunch time on Friday and knew straight away the call was a scam but thought she would see how much of her personal information the man had.

"It was a foreign speaking gentleman who said he was going to give me back money which had been defrauded from my bank account in eftpos and transaction fees," she said.

"He said it was a new law which meant I was entitled to a refund.

"I knew straight away he was lying because my account has no transaction fees as it's the over 55's account and has no fees at all.

She said the man asked if she would like the refund in the form of a cheque or bank deposit and said he would just need to confirm details before he would issue it.

"He knew my full name, my phone number, my suburb and street number but not my street name," Mrs Ryan said.

"When he asked for the street name I asked him to tell me as I wasn't going to give him that.

"That's when he became upset and said because I wasn't co-operating he would no longer be giving me a refund and he hung up."

Along with Mrs Ryan two other residents in the region have told the NewsMail of a similar scam call which they received last week.

Chris Thomas, 65, of Burnett Heads said he received a phone call last Wednesday, June 24 jus after lunch with the same scenario.

"I listened to what the man had to say and knew it was too good to be true," Mr Thomas said.

"I thought I would go along with it and we got to the stage where they said if I paid them $350 they would then give me cheque for $4000.

Mr Thomas said they told him the up front money was to cover search fees the government would incur.

"He knew all my information and sounded very convincing," he said.

"I am a pensioner but my wife and weary of scams so knew better and we would like to warn others to be the same.

Wonbah resident Dieter Moeckel said he was told he had a rebate of $7421.35 coming from the Federal Government in the phone call he received last week.

When Mr Moeckel insisted on talking to the supervisor the man became agitated and hung-up on him.

"He sounded reasonably convincing and I would hate for anyone to be caught out," Mr Moeckel said.

"So I thought it is best to spread the word."



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