Avoiding money scams

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Protect your cash with these handy tips

There seems to be no end to the tricks scammers will get up to nowadays to get their hands on your cash. The good news is, there are some easy and ways you can stay one step ahead of the scammers.

Check it on Scam Watch

The ACCC’s Scamwatch website is the Australian government’s one-stop shop for the latest info on current scams and alerts.

Protect your details and identity

Secure your personal information and protect yourself from identity theft, and from becoming the victim of financial fraud.

  • Don’t ever give your personal or bank details to anyone who phones, emails or contacts you.
  • Choose passwords that are hard to guess, and don’t share them with anyone else.
  • Always shred documents that contain your full name and address, and details such as your date of birth, bank account or credit card numbers, and other financial information.
  • Regularly check activity on your bank accounts and cards for any unauthorised transactions.
  • Keep your wallet secure and if it is lost or stolen, contact your bank immediately.

Be savvy with security on your phone and computer

Beware of suspicious or unsolicited emails – don’t open them.

  • These can contain viruses that may infect your device and allow scammers to access them remotely, stealing your information and your cash.
  • Check that you activity your security settings and have anti-virus protection on your computer and phone.
  • Your bank will never ask you to send personal information, or your PIN or CCV numbers, by email or text.
  • Here’s some more good information about protecting yourself from online scams. 

Always ask the right questions

If someone contacts you with an offer that seems too good to be true – it probably is!

  • To check if an offer is legit, there’s some questions you can ask to start getting to the truth:
    • Ask for the person’s name, and the name of their company
    • Ask who owns their company
    • Ask for their business address
  • Check the company details against ASIC’s list of unlicensed companies and if they’re listed there – don’t deal with them!
  • Scammers may also try to win your trust by saying they are regulated by an organisation that sounds legitimate, but is fake. Check their claims against this listing of fake regulators and exchanges.
  • If they avoid answering your questions altogether, chances are they’re a scammer. Hang up the phone, delete and don’t respond to their emails, and stop dealing with the person.

Reduce those pesky telemarketing calls

  • You can reduce the number of unsolicited calls you receive by putting your name and phone numbers on the Do Not Call Register.
  • While this should reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive, be aware it might not stop scammers from calling you – they don’t follow the rules!

Most of all – be on guard! Remember if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Your best defence against scammers is to hang up the phone, delete the email or text or destroy the letter. If in doubt, check Scamwatch or contact your local police.