Scammers impersonating state government

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is urging residents to be vigilant after repeated reports of nuisance phone calls to local households from telemarketers claiming to be calling from the state government.

Mr O’Brien said that he was aware of many locals receiving cold calls from persons claiming to be a representative of the state government spruiking the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.

“The Victorian Energy Upgrades Program is a legitimate rebate program that is available to Victorians and I encourage those wanting to take advantage of this program to speak to local companies about the products they have available,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Unfortunately, what appears to be happening is that dishonest persons are using this program as a front to obtain personal information from unsuspecting victims.

“It’s important to note that genuine providers of this program have signed on to a code of conduct and will not inundate you with repeated calls. Indeed, the code of conduct states that they must not call the same household twice within 30 days unless specifically asked to do so by the householder.

“Genuine telemarketers representing the Victorian Energy Upgrades Program would also only call between 9am and 8pm weekdays and 9am – 5pm Saturdays with no calls allowed on Sundays.

“They would also not claim to be calling from the state government or request any personal information.”

Mr O’Brien encouraged anyone receiving such calls to report them to Scamwatch at www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam.

Further information about the Victorian Energy Upgrades Program and a list of accredited providers is available at www.energy.vic.gov.au/energy-efficiency/victorian-energy-upgrades.

If you believe a company who is an accredited provider of the Victorian Energy Upgrades Program is breaching the code of conduct, you can make a complaint by calling 03 9032 1310 or emailing veu@esc.vic.gov.au.

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