Police are warning residents to be aware of phone scammers after a Merrigum business lost more than $400.
Tatura police Senior Constable Peter Aitken said he recently received reports of scammers targeting people in rural towns.
‘‘People are calling up small business owners and saying they are from Neosurf or Epay and scamming the owner into doing transactions,’’ he said.
Epay and Neosurf allow people to purchase products online if they do not have a credit or debit card.
Their products include prepaid mobile top-up, prepaid debit cards, e-wallets, gift cards, digital music and downloadable games.
Sen Const Aitken said the small business owners received a call from someone pretending to be a machine manufacturer from Epay.
The male on the phone asked the owners to go through a diagnostic test, and took them step by step through the transaction process, taking a total of $430.
The business owners said the male on the other end was confident and had a clear knowledge of how the system worked.
After the call finished, the business owner became sceptical and called the company back, only to find out it never contacts customers directly for that sort of information.
Sen Const Aitken warned people to be wary if they received a phone call out of the blue.
‘‘They’ve been targeting small business owners like service stations, cafes and newsagent owners,’’ he said.