Scammers are posing as police officers to try and dupe people into handing over financial information.
Phone calls even appear to come from a local police station, say officers from Camden Police Area Command in NSW, which is a warning the public to beware of the new tactics.
The callers claim to be a police officer or the Australian Taxation Office and tell the person they have an outstanding ATO bill or debt that must be paid.
The recipient of the call is threatened with arrest if they don’t do as they’re being asked.
Posing as a cop is just the latest way scammers are targeting vulnerable people.
But police are reminding the public to be wary of any requests for personal details or demands for payments made over the phone and are urging them not to give any details or to transfer any money.
The ATO never uses the tactics deployed by scammers, such as threatening arrest, asking to pay supposed debts by voucher, or to hand out personal information by email or text.
Scammers pretending to represent the ATO stole more than $800,000 last month after frightening people into handing over their money.
The thieves use software that resembles a legitimate phone number to disguise their identities before threatening people with jail or deportation.
The ATO received more than 37,000 reports of scam attempts in November, with one elderly person losing more than $236,000 over five months.
Meanwhile, a new Facebook scam is sending users messages from the accounts of friends and family, asking for money.
The message claims the person has won money and they can tell you how to do the same thing.
“The message is really from a scammer who has either hacked your friend’s account or created a “copy” profile by stealing their images and information,” Queensland Police said.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019