Vet phone caught up in ‘solar scam’

PHONE: Church Street Veterinary practice manager, Lisa Tubnor said the phones rang off the hook last Thursday.

PHONE: Church Street Veterinary practice manager, Lisa Tubnor said the phones rang off the hook last Thursday.

Mudgee’s Church Street Vet has been caught up in an apparent scam, that had their phones ringing off the hook last week.

Veterinary practice manager, Lisa Tubnor said the calls started just after 12 noon on Thursday.

“People were calling in saying they’d missed a call from our number, we checked around and obviously we hadn’t been leaving messages.

“About half an hour later, a couple of local ladies phoned and said they had a call with the vet number come up as the caller ID and it was an Indian person wanting to sell solar energy to them.

The calls were not limited to the Mudgee region with Mrs Tubnor saying they were also contacted by people in Lithgow and Coolah.

“The calls continued all throughout the day.

“We put our answering machine on and asked our clients to call our mobile number, because the calls were tying up our phone lines. 

“We have no idea how they got our number, we just assumed we’d been spammed somehow. 

“It was a bit overwhelming.”

Damien Brakel posted a warning to others on the Mudgee Community Group Facebook page on Thursday – “Whats the go? Telemarketers phone me about solar.”

The post continued “The number, caller ID is showing 63726780. Which is listed as Church Street Vets. Phoning the number back, I get a message by the vet clinic staff saying they are having issues with that number. It appears these Indian phone spammers are hijacking local numbers for caller IDs, so people answer or think they're local.”

Other users responded to the post with comments of other scams doing the rounds – “My mum got a text scam from NAB at midnight last night asking her to login into her account via the link they sent although she isn't with NAB. She notified NAB.”

Two other users commented they also had calls but from different local numbers – “I had one similar - but the number is for a resident in Rylstone.” 

Church Street Vet has contacted their phone service provider, who is now investigating.  

Anyone that believes they are being scammed or has information on a scam is encouraged to report the incident to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) at scamwatch.gov.au.

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