Be Scam Safe and Aware - Protect yourself with knowledge
Scams are becoming increasingly more prevalent as we spend extended periods of time on our smartphones and on the internet. Some of these scam operations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and opportunistic. The majority of scams still come from email or phone calls.
The best way to protect yourself is through education and awareness.
The best approach is if it looks and or sounds suspicious it probably is. If it looks too good to be true it probably is. The safest approach is to not engage or interact with the scammer and definitely don’t provide any personal details.
Here are the top 10 tips from the ACCC to protect yourself from scams:
- Watch out for scams—scammers target you anytime, anywhere, anyhow.
- Don’t respond—ignore suspicious emails, letters, house visits, phones calls or SMS messages—press ‘delete’, throw them out, shut the door or just hang up.
- Don’t agree to an offer straight away—do your research and seek independent advice if it involves significant money, time or commitment, and get the offer in writing.
- Ask yourself who you’re really dealing with—scammers pose as people or organisations that you know and trust.
- Don’t let scammers push your buttons—scammers will play on your emotions to get what they want, including adopting a personal touch.
- Keep your computer secure—always update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and only buy from a verified source.
- Only pay online using a secure payment service—look for a URL starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol.
- Never send money to someone you don’t know and trust—it’s rare to recover money from a scammer.
- Protect your identity—your personal details are private and invaluable; keep them that way and away from scammers.
- If you’ve spotted a scam, spread the word!—tell your family and friends, and report it to SCAMwatch.
Resources to help you be scam safe
Further information can be found on the following Australian Government websites.
- SCAM Watch Australia - https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission - https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/the-little-blackbook-of-scams
Australian National Do Not Call Register - https://www.donotcall.gov.au/
- ReportCyber - https://wwwcyber.gov.au/acsc/report
- iDcare (for Stolen Identities) - https://www.idcare.org/
Contact my office to request a copy of the ACCC ‘The little black book of scams’.