PHONE SCAM TARGETS NEWS PUBLISHER

PHONE SCAM TARGETS NEWS PUBLISHER

BUSINESS owners have been warned of a potential scam involving a cold-caller posing as a representative of both Brisbane Business News and Gold Coast Business News.

The caller, who identifies herself by a first name and uses identities of either present or former staff of the publisher, poses as a sales representative seeking annual subscription payments for the magazines.

However, Camilla Jansen, the managing director of Business News Australia which owns both publications, says that since the end of last year both Brisbane Business News and Gold Coast Business News have successfully transitioned into digital publications and their content is now accessed free online.

"The caller in no way is a representative of our company," says Jansen, who has alerted police to the scam.

"This has come as a bit of a shock to us because the caller has managed to use our telephone ID and the names of some staff members to convince businesses to hand over their credit card details.

"To our knowledge the credit cards have not been used by this person, but it's disturbing that someone could go to such an extent to take on our identity."

A local real estate business, that does not want to be identified, was the first to alert Business News Australia of the fraudster.

A spokesman says the company had been a previous subscriber to Brisbane Business News and had agreed to a renewal.

"But I did get suspicious because she didn't want me to call her back to give her details," says the spokesman.

"She knew our details and the contact's name in our business, even though they haven't worked here for a couple of years, so I thought it was pretty safe."

The spokesman says a check of telephone logs shows that the call had been made from a Business News Australia number, which IT specialists say can occur if the fraudsters uses an ip phone.

Following the incident, the real estate business has taken steps to monitor the use of the credit card which has since been cancelled.

Jansen has urged any businesses who has been approached by the fraudster to contact Business News Australia, or to alert police.

"This person needs to be stopped as soon as possible," she says.

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