AS PART OF THE ACCC'S SCAM AWARENESS WEEK, WE ARE SHARING INFORMATION AROUND SCAMS AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS SAFE.
Scams cost Australians, businesses and the economy hundreds of millions of dollars each year and cause serious emotional harm to victims and their families.
There are countless types of scams, with new scams constantly emerging. While scammers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, people often believe they would never fall victim. Many Australians believe they could confidently spot a scam or believe they would know what to do if they were targeted. Often it is this sense of confidence that scammers target and it makes everyone vulnerable.
With scammers becoming increasingly sophisticated, and often using technology or cunning tactics to prey on people, we need to be more diligent than ever to ensure we keep ourselves safe.
In 2018, Australians made more than 177 000 scam reports to ACCC’s Scamwatch and reported a total loss of more than $107 million with the ATO being the most commonly impersonated agency.
Investment scams and online dating scams continue to be the most financially devastating scams affecting Australians, however, business email compromise scams are quickly catching up with them.
Some tips to protect yourself from scams
Be alert to scams. If you’ve been contacted out of the blue by an unknown person, even if they’re claiming to be from the government or trusted business, always consider the possibility that it may be a scam.
Don’t be pressured by a threatening caller or email or feel pressured to act quickly. Take your time and never rush a decision or action.
Know who you're dealing with. If you've only ever met someone online or are unsure if the business is genuine, do your research.
Use strong passwords by creating hard-to-guess passphrases that are memorable to you. Do this for all of your devices, including your Wi-Fi.
Don’t open anything that looks suspicious. This including texts, pop-up windows, or links and attachments in emails.
Beware of emails requesting changes to payment details. Always verify changes to payment details directly with the business or individual using contact details you hold separate to the email.
This list is by no means exhaustive. For more information on staying safe or how to spot scams, visit the Scamwatch website.