$229 million in scam losses in 2015
Of the 49,500 reports to the ACCC with an age provided, almost 20,000 were provided by Australians over the age of 55, with over 21 million dollars lost by this group.
In Fraud Week we are asking everyone, and especially seniors, to ‘wise up to scams’ and follow some simple advice to avoid becoming a victim.
- Do not let anyone pressure you into making decisions. Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency so the recipient of the call will act impulsively. They do this through short deadlines, fake emergencies or threats of legal action.
- Get a second opinion. If someone requests money from you and you have any doubts, discuss it with a trusted and reliable third party.
- Investment opportunities. Do not respond to emails and phone calls from strangers offering predictions on shares, investment tips, or investment advice. Always do your own research before you invest any money and check the company or scheme is licensed on ASIC’s MoneySmart website.
- Dating online. Know who you’re dealing with. Don’t send money to someone you’ve never met in person. If someone approaches you on social media and you don’t know them, it may be a scam.
- Cold call offering help with your computer. If you receive a call claiming to be from Microsoft, Telstra or anyone else telling you your computer has a problem, it is likely to be a scam. Never allow anyone to remotely log into your computer.
- Government agency calling. Government agencies will generally write to you if you are entitled to money. If somebody calls you claiming to be from the Government offering you unexpected money, be cautious. Get enough information on the organisation and the caller and then find independent contact details so you can check the legitimacy of what you have been told.
- Scam birth, death and marriage certificates. Be wary of websites that appear official but fail to deliver on promises to provide birth, death or marriage certificates in return for a fee. Whilst you may think you’re paying for a certificate, you are actually paying for information, forms or web links which are freely available from official Government websites. In some cases you may receive nothing at all.
For more information about Fraud Week visit https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/fraudweek2016