Did you know that ACCC reported the following statistics in August last year alone?
- 190,000 reports of scams
- $192M losses
- Cryptocurrencies are the most popular type of investment scams (It starts with $250 and $500 investments, but scammers pressure more overtime before claiming all the investments is gone)
- The over 65’s have lost the most ($24M last year), although all age groups are losing money to investment scams
Below are some forms of scams from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
|Type of Scams||How it works|
|Investment Scams||Scammers invent fake money-making opportunities to prey on your enthusiasm, get access on your cash at the pretense of a fast way of making money.|
|Dating and Romance Scams||Scammers prey on people looking for romantic partners. They use a dating website, apps, and social media and play emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts, or personal details.|
|Current COVID-19 (coronavirus) scams||Scammers are using the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to take advantage of people across Australia.|
|Fake Charities||Scammers impersonate genuine charities and ask for donations or contact you claiming to collect money after natural disasters or major events|
|Threat and extortion||Scammers will use any means possible to steal your identity or your money – including threatening your life or ‘hijacking’ your computer.|
|Inheritance Scams||These scams offer you the false promise of an inheritance to trick you into parting with your money or sharing your bank or credit card details.|
|Buying or selling Scams||Scammers prey on consumers and businesses that are buying or selling products and services. Not every transaction is legitimate.|
|Unexpected Winnings Scams||Includes Scratchie scams, Travel prize Scams, unexpected prize and lottery scams. These scams try to trick you into giving money upfront or your personal information in order to receive a prize from a lottery or competition that you never entered.|
|Jobs and employment||Jobs and employment scams trick you into handing over your money by offering you a ‘guaranteed’ way to make fast money or a high-paying job for little effort.|
Many people who experience a scam never report it to anyone as they feel ashamed that they fell for a scam. Talking about scams removes this stigma, spreads awareness, and can also help people get out of them sooner rather than later.
Some simple steps we can do to protect ourselves from scams
- Never give any personal information to someone who contacted you
- Do not click on hyperlinks in text/social media or emails, even if it appears to come from a trusted source
- Go directly to a website through a browser. For example, for the MyGov website, type my.gov.au into the browser
- Never give your personal or financial details even if they claim to be from the government or reputable organization. Simply hang up or delete the request!
- Never provide a stranger remote access to your computer, even if they claim to be from Telstra or NBN provider.
- Be wary of sellers requesting unusual payment methods such as upfront payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, preloaded card, or electronic currency, like Bitcoin.
- Verify any request to change bank details by contacting the supplier directly using trusted contact details that have previously been used.
- Consider a multi-factor approval process for transactions over a certain dollar amount.
Where to get help:
If you or someone you know has been scammed, even if they did not fall for it, please refer the matter to ACCC’s Scamwatch website at www.scamwatch.gov.au
ATO has a Scam Hotline on 1800 008 540 or visit the ATO Scam site.
Should you need direction and assistance in the event that you have been scammed, please contact Warren Maris on 07 3483 0100 of Magnus Business Advisers and Accountants.