A new phone scam is targeting Gladstone residents.
A new phone scam is targeting Gladstone residents. DERRICK DEN HOLLANDER

Find out how to protect yourself in new phone scam

GLADSTONE residents are warned to be aware of a new type of phone scam targeting home internet routers.

Dianne Schweighofer received two calls last week on her answering machine, with an automated message saying her IP address and router had been compromised by various countries.

Ms Schweighofer said she immediately knew it was a scam because she uses a different method to connect to the internet.

"I knew it was a scam because I do not have (a router) connected," she said.

"Just prepaid Wi-Fi on a tablet."

Reports of the IP address scam have surfaced since last year when it was reported in the United Kingdom.

The message informs the caller their internet will be disconnected within 24-48 hours as their IP address has been hacked by several countries.

It goes on to offer them a replacement of the IP address and router for free, and also gives an option to speak with a technician immediately.

Ms Schweighofer said even though she knew the message was a scam, it made her more conscious about online safety.

"Nevertheless, as an older person it made me feel uncomfortable and unsure of my security online," she said.

It is one of many computer-based phone scams targeting Australians with the aim to gain access to a person's computer and steal sensitive information.

In August last year, the ACCC's Scamwatch reported a spike with 'remote-access scams' with more than 8000 reports recorded and losses totalling $4.4million.

They advise people to hang up immediately when they receive a phone call out of the blue about their computer and to make sure their computer is up-to-date with anti-virus and security patches.

For more information, visit the Scamwatch website at http://www.scamwatch.gov.au.