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SCAM ALERT - Elderly Canberra woman victim of phone scam

by Brent Ford

A warning to Canberrans after a 75-year-old local woman was defrauded of a large sum of money by a telephone scammer, claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office.

The scammer alleged that she owed money, making threats if she didn't pay up.

Police say she was then told to buy a number of Apple iTunes cards, where she was then defrauded of upwards of $5,500 after handing over the gift card codes.

Officer-in-Charge of Tuggeranong Station, Station Sergeant Chris Meagher says it can happen to anyone.

"We urge members of the public to spread the word, particularly if they know someone who would be vulnerable to this type of scam. By raising awareness about how these scams work, we can prevent these callous incidents from occurring," Meagher said.

Police reckon if we get a similar call we should hang up immediately. If you think you're the target of a scam you can report it to Scamwatch via www.scamwatch.gov.au or you can call 1300 795 995. If you have already been defrauded, you can report it to the police on 131 444.

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