Advice for avoiding phone scams

You may have shopped around for the best telephone or mobile deal you could find, or you might have decided to compare phone plans to work out which one suits your individual needs and be completely satisfied with your provider and the service they offer.

But scams can be a problem no matter which phone company you are with.

National Consumer Fraud Awareness Week runs from March 19-25 and aims to raise awareness of fraudsters' methods so consumers can identify and halt fraud early on.

With that in mind, Telstra have offered their support for the campaign and provided some tips for sniffing out phone and SMS trickery.

The telecommunications giant recommends that when consumers feel unsure on a telephone call, asking for the name of the caller and the company they represent then hanging up and contacting the company is a good tactic to weed out scammers.

Telstra also says that personal details such as credit card or bank account numbers should never be disclosed over the phone, unless you made the call and trust who you are speaking with.

They advise to watch out for calls from phone numbers beginning with 190, and messages from 19 numbers - these are charged at the highest rates and can end up costing you a lot.

Posted by Eve Gillespie