Wagga residents are receiving daily scam calls, with some vulnerable communities feeling at risk of exploitation.
Wagga resident Robert Lun Gumring said the first time he received a scam call it left him "shocked" and unsure what to do.
"The first time I got a call I was waiting for a call from the citizenship department, so when he called me he said he was from the Australian government so I thought it was real," Mr Gumring said. "The man said in their record system it showed I didn't pay tax, and I had over $30,0000 owing."
Mr Gumring, who originally hails from Myanmar, realised the call was a scam eventually, but said many in vulnerable communities like his own were at serious risk of being successfully targeted.
"It is a very big stress for people like me who come from non-English speaking backgrounds, a refugee background," he said. "Where I grew up is very different to Australia. We have less knowledge about technology and these scams."
"And if it affects us like that, how will it affect elderly people?"
CSU lecturer Dr Arif Khan is an expert in cybersecurity and said communities like Mr Gumring's and elderly people are most at risk.
"People more vulnerable are those who don't have English as their first language," Dr Khan said. "If they have a refugee background and they get the government call, they're likely to get stressed and in that panic, they start providing their information."
"Same goes for our elders, our grandparents, they are more trusting and if someone is talking politely they will share all their information."
How to spot a scammer
Dr Khan said there are key things to look for that reveal a scammer.
"They might offer a very lucrative deal," he said. "If a deal looks too good to be true it's definitely not true."
He said scare tactics, promises of prizes or investment opportunities with huge returns were key signs to watch out for as were unsolicited calls from companies outside of normal office hours.
To protect yourself, he said it's vital to reveal nothing about yourself, not even your name when you answer the phone.
"The first thing is do not provide any information on the phone," he said. "If it's a blocked or unfamiliar number do not state your name when you answer, don't confirm your number, bank account, nothing about your identity."
Dr Khan explained scammers manage to defraud when they convince people to hand over credit card or bank details, or when they can get someone to click on link sent via text.
These links, if followed, can install hidden software on the device that can gather data like bank details, logins and passwords.
He said the best way to combat scam calls is by reporting any received to the government's 'Scamwatch' website which tracks and blocks callers based off citizen reporting.
The advice comes as dozens of other Wagga residents report being targeted by the same 'government' scam, as well as by calls pretending to come from companies like Telstra or Amazon.
Kathy Maree runs a community crime watch Facebook page and said she noticed a spike in calls she was receiving, and felt compelled to share a warning with the group.
"I have been receiving them quite a lot very recently on my mobile and I was concerned for elderly or vulnerable in our community so decided to put out a warning," Ms Maree said.
Since then, many others said they too have been targeted.
Resident Steven Beck said he is regularly targeted by the calls threatening arrest.
Another resident said they receive them every day and night.
"It's driving me mad," they said.
Some like Mr Beck like to speak to the caller and reason with or tease them, but Dr Khan warned against this tactic.
"You should not engage with these people, if they're unfamiliar, hang up," he said.
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