A Corowa dental clinic will soon extend its opening hours to help an elderly woman in the town who was conned out of $7000 as a result of a phone scam.
The Free Press reported on the scam in June last year that left the woman, who did not want to be named, feeling shaken and upset after receiving a call from someone claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office.
MP Dental’s Principal Dentist Dr Ajay Nanaiah said he recently became aware of the identity of the woman involved and wanted to help recoup her savings.
“This is an elderly woman who was tricked into paying this large sum,” he said.
“I wanted to help her out and so we have decided in order to achieve this we will start working on Saturdays in late July and 100 percent of the revenue from new patients, and a percentage of the revenue from existing patients will go towards this fund.”
Dr Nanajah wanted to warn residents about the scam as we head into tax time again.
“It could easily happen to someone in our community again, so we are putting this warning out there,” he said.
Dr Nanajah asked those who would like to help the resident and make a booking on a Saturday, to mention the word ‘scam’ at the time of making their appointment on 1800 433 682.
The Australian Tax Office is aware of similar scams operating around tax time.
An Australian Tax Office spokeswoman said from time to time the tax office may contact residents by phone.
However, she warned residents to be wary of unsolicited phone calls claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office.
“These may offer you a tax refund or tell you that you have a tax debt and threaten you with arrest,” the spokeswoman said.
“We are now seeing these scams using names and addresses of actual Australian Tax Office officers and buildings.
“Be careful if you receive a phone call like this.
“If you are in doubt about the authenticity of a call that you receive claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office, you can call us on 1800 008 540 to verify.”
The spokeswoman said key indicators that pointed towards the call being a scam were if the caller used an aggressive tone, threatened you with immediate arrest or asked you to pay via non-legitimate payment methods, such as gift cards or into a personal bank account.
Residents can verify if they have a debt with the Australian Tax Office by logging into their myGov account or calling their registered tax agent or advisor.