Many years ago I hosted a talk back radio show on a Sunday morning on 3AK called Money Talk, and I always remember the phone calls where callers phoned in and told us they had been scammed.
These were smart professional people like you and me, and I was shocked at how easily very smart people can be scammed by the unscrupulous.
The recent “hack” of a Sydney fund manager costing them potentially millions, just reminded me how easily this can occur. The acceptance of a Zoom invite led to the takeover of an email address that resulted in the potential loss of millions of dollars. The only thing that saved them was luck.
This together with a booklet from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) called The Little Black Book of Scams that recently landed on my desk, and the online shopping we will be doing in the festive break made me think it was a good time for a reminder. The ACCC tells us the ones to look out for include:
- Dating and romance scams.
- Risk free investment opportunities.
- Threat and penalty scams.
- Money scams.
- Prize and lottery scams.
- Online shopping.
- Scams targeting computers and mobile devices.
So how do we avoid these unwanted problems?
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is true for investment opportunities and bargains you have found while browsing the internet on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
- If you have found the love of your life but not told your best friend then something isn’t stacking up. Don’t send them money.
- Don’t click on links on your computer sent by people you don’t know.
- Don’t provide your identity over the phone because someone says they are from the Tax Office, Australia Post, or even from us, your bank. If you don’t know the person, be suspicious.
You can find more information at scamwatch.gov.au