Scams are a growth industry, last year Australians lost more than eight hundred million dollars lost in scams and this year looks like being worse!
Scams can ruin people’s lives, and there’s little that can be done to retrieve people’s hard earned money.
If you think you have been scammed, contact the bank or financial institution immediately and you may have a chance to get your money bank. Last year around two hundred million dollars was retrieved.
Delia Rickard, Deputy Chair of the ACCC says most scams are international and increasingly organised crime is involved because it’s cheap to do – you only need one percent to respond and they make can a lot of money. The caller will often claim to be from a known business such as Amazon or eBay or government body such as the Taxation Department.
She warns scams morph all the time, piggybacking on current events such as Covid and a couple of years ago, the bushfires.
Most scams come via the phone, but also on email or text. If they are asking for personal information, remote access to your computer, or it simply sounds too good to be true, hang up immediately. You can’t be too careful.
A current scam asks you to download or click on a link related to a missing or expected package or listen to a voicemail message. Do not click or tap on the link. Delete the message immediately.
Delia advises doing a google search for the correct phone number for the company and call them to check if the call to you is legitimate.
If you see a well-known name on Facebook advertising a deal, it’s very likely to be fake. High returns and low risk offers are likely to be a scam.
It’s hard to tell from the internet what is real and what is fake. Delia advises, be suspicious, be sceptical. Talk to your friends and relatives to make them scam aware.