According to Scamwatch Australia, a reported $851 million was lost to scams in Australia in 2020. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent being scammed. Here are five practical tips:
1. Ask yourself is the individual, organisation or government body who they claim to be?
If you receive a message, email or call from someone asking for personal or financial information, delete or hang up immediately, even if the contact claims to be from a well-known organisation. You can check if it’s a legitimate request by contacting the company directly.
2. Protect and secure your digital devices from scams
Always keep the security of your computer and devices up to date with anti-virus software, anti-spy software and a good firewall. Also make sure privacy settings are up to date on your social media accounts.
3. Monitor your bank account and credit card activity
Check your bank and credit card transactions regularly to ensure there is no unauthorised activity. If there are, contact your financial institution immediately.
4. Do not click on any suspicious links sent via text or email
Never open attachments or click on links in emails, text messages or social media messages you receive from sources you don’t know. Even if it’s from a trusted organisation like AusPost, do not click on any unusual links with suspicious random numbers and letters. Delete the message or email immediately.
5. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is
Be suspicious of anyone offering easy money. Investment offers promising high or quick returns, no or low risk, or claiming insider information, are likely to be scams. Before you invest, do your research – read How to spot an investment scam and what to do before you invest.
If you think you have been scammed, you can: