ACCC warns of telecommunications refund scam

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ACCC warns of telecommunications refund scam
Scammers are bilking telecommunications customers for bogus refunds.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned customers of internet telephony provider VIPtel of a scam involving bogus refunds.

The scammers told companies that have done business with VIPTel they were owed a refund out of recent court action against the company. The rub was they must pay a fee through money transfer before it was processed. 

The wathdog has received more than 60 complaints and enquiries regarding the scam, with some reporting losses of more than $3000. 

“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." 

VIPtel Mobile now traded under the name of EDirect Pty Ltd, against which the regulator said it had taken a number of court actions. But the ACCC was careful to clarify that none of these actions resulted in refunds for VIPTel customers.

EDirect is in external administration with another company called M2 Viptel having taken over all VIPTel Mobile’s customers.

The ACCC said M2 Viptel was aware of the scam and was warning its customers through SMS, invoices and notices on its website.

Scammers have also masqueraded as staff from Centrelink or other government departments, consulting companies and law firms. 

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