BRIAN Barber, 50, is a man determined not to be scammed.
Mr Barber says he has been around long enough to know a scam when he sees one, and now, because of a recent experience, warns people to take extra care.
What he described as an "oriental-sounding man" contacted him recently posing as a "government employee from the retrieval department".
The man told Mr Barber that he was entitled to almost $5000 in back pay for overcharged bank fees.
Mr Barber knew a civil lawsuit had recently been taken against the major banks for overcharging customers in bank fees, and thought the call might be legitimate.
"So I went along with it," he said.
"It seemed legit because they knew my wife's private PO box details.
"I was also given a reference number and a return Sydney phone number to finalise my return.
"I called the number, quoted my reference number and the man who answered [name Michael] said I had to go to the post office, open a Western Union account and deposit $290 as tax security before my return could be processed."
Mr Barber said it was then that he realised "something wasn't right".
He said he was generally wary of scams, but said this one almost had him fooled.
"I was lucky, but I just want people who may be a little vulnerable to be aware that these scammers are getting clever and that people need to really protect their personal information," he said.
A Champion reporter called the number Mr Barber was given to verify the scam.
Once caught out, the scammer hung up and engaged the phone number so that no further calls could be made.
A Western Union customer service representative said there was no fee associated with opening up one of their accounts.
"Our accounts are free to open and can be done online in a few minutes," he said. "People don't have to go to the post office to do it.
"If customers have concerns, they should contact us immediately.
"We have a toll-free number [1800 501 500] 24 hours a day."
Liverpool crime manager Dean Johnstone said: "If it seems too good to be true then it is. If money needs to be deposited for financial benefit, then it is a scam."
Detective Inspector Johnstone said that if people received a phone call or email asking to check credit details, they should find out the name and organisation of the person and call that organisation direct instead of calling that person back.
"Report the incident to NSW police for initial investigation," he said. "If we reach a point where we believe we can't continue, we will notify the feds."