Elderly man on phone call holding credit card in hand

With the use of phones and internet on the rise, scammers are taking an online approach to trick people. Whether it's your money or your identity, scammers are out to steal things personal to you. So how do you recognise one and how can you protect yourself?

Spotting a scam

With more use of our phones and the internet comes more chance of being scammed. It also means more access to helpful information. Nowadays there are many sites which can give you information on current scams and what areas or people they are targetting. How can you spot a scam by yourself though? Here are some signs that the phone call, text or email you just received may be a scam:

  • The message you've received is unexpected
  • There is a sense of urgency around the message
  • The promise of money, if you comply
  • On the other hand, they may threaten you with fines, debts or jail if you do not.

Popular pieces of information that scammers may ask for include your name, address, date or birth, bank details or identity details. If they get hold of this information they may commit fraud, access your accounts, use your finances or even scam your friends and family with your information.    


 


Staying Safe

Do your research

Take some time to do your own research if you are unsure about the business who has contacted you. Has the "ATO" emailed you requesting you pay a debt, google their policies on debt repayments and see how they go about contacting people. If a message comes from a friend or family member and it is out of character, contact them directly using another contact method just to double check. 

Do not open links or suspicious texts

If you sense that something isn't right always make sure you verify the source. Give the business a call or do an online search to check their correct contact details. Never click on links or use the contact details within the suspicious message. 

Keep your devices secure

Always make sure your password is strong and protected. Do not share your password with anyone, and protect your wifi with a strong, unique password. You should be changing your password for each account. Make sure your devices are not easily accessible to anyone else. 

Don't send money to those you don't know

Never reveal your credit card details to anyone you do not know. This includes important documents too such as identifying documents (birth certificates, drivers licence, medicare card etc). You should always keep track of your payments and payment requests. 


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