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As scams evolve, so can you

As scams continue to evolve, it’s important to stay on top of the latest information.

Here are some tips for staying protected against some of the most common scams impacting Australians today and red flags to watch out for.

What can you do to stay protected?

Anyone can fall victim to a scam. As well as learning more about the different types of scams and how to spot them, start a conversation with family members or friends. You might know the red flags to watch out for, but do your loved ones? Raising awareness and educating yourself and others are important steps to help combat scams and even prevent them from happening in the first place.

Three scams to watch out for

Impersonation scams

Have you ever received a call and it just didn’t feel right? It may have been part of an impersonation scam, which is when a scammer impersonates a bank or other service company by phone or SMS, asking you to authorise transactions, make a payment, or provide personal information.

According to the Australian Government’s Anti-Scam Centre, three in four reported scams include some form of impersonation of a legitimate entity1.

So how can you be sure next time that person calling you is really from where they say they’re from? Here’s a few things to remember:

  • most financial institutions will never ask you to transfer funds to another account

  • never share passwords with anyone

  • avoid using phone numbers or links from text messages

  • check contact information using a trusted source such as the company’s website.

Investment scams

As of 9 November 2023, Australians have lost $240 million to investment scams2. Investment scams are often sophisticated which means they can be hard to spot. Investment opportunities offering fast results and big returns can have the potential makings of a scam.

Common investment scams include:

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  • unsolicited investment offers such as cryptocurrency, fake corporate or treasury bonds, and fake share IPOs (Initial Public Offerings), claiming to be from reputable businesses

  • fake endorsement of an investment or other business opportunities from celebrities

  • early access to superannuation with a fee.

Buyer/seller scams

Buying or selling on an online selling platform is great when it’s quick and hassle-free. But scammers are popping up everywhere, so it’s harder to stay safe online. Here are five red flags to look out for:

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  • being approached by someone who has no profile photo

  • the price seems too good to be true

  • a request for personal information such as your phone number or email

  • the buyer overpays for an item and wants you to refund the excess amount

  • the buyer wants to pay using a gift card or wants to send a prepaid shipping label.

 

scamwatch.gov.au
2 scamwatch.gov.au as at 9 November 2023

 

Source: Macquarie

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