Scammers claim to be representing the ABS

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MEDIA RELEASE
19 September 2014
139/2014
Scammers claim to be representing the ABS

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is advising the Victorian community to be aware of a scam which tries to obtain personal and financial information over the phone.

“The scam is a concern because it is seeking to obtain personal and financial information purporting to be from, or representing, the ABS,” said ABS Chief Operating Officer Chris Libreri.

"The scam includes providing an official ABS contact number to make the call seem more legitimate.

"If you receive such a call, it is important that you hang up and verify if you have been contacted by a legitimate ABS officer on the ABS' official contact number; 1300 135 070.

“The ABS conducts a range of surveys each year and participation is crucial to maximise the accuracy of our statistics and ensure they are genuinely representative of the Australian population.

“It is important for participants to know that when households or businesses are selected in ABS surveys, an initial approach letter is sent to explain the purpose of the survey and the reason for their selection.

“The ABS does not ask survey participants to provide, or confirm, bank account details or tax file numbers. Data collection activity is not outsourced and the ABS does not disclose the information collected to anyone as stipulated by the Census and Statistics Act,” said Mr Libreri.

ABS statistics are relied upon by many organisations including government bodies and are required for effective policy and infrastructure planning.

ABS surveys are conducted under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and comply with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988.

If people have contact with the ABS and are concerned about providing their personal information, they are encouraged to contact the ABS on 1300 135 070 (9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday).

Authorities have been advised of the scam calls. Further information on phishing scams and identity theft can be found on the SCAMwatch website: www.scamwatch.gov.au