‘Tis the season to be jolly … but also the season to be wary of scams.
Australians have reported a record $211 million in losses to scams so far this year, an 89 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. Scams of one sort or another are on the rise, particularly this time of the year.
From phone scams, to text scams, there is not a single area of technology that is not being abused or manipulated by anonymous, unscrupulous criminals – often in regions beyond Australia’s jurisdiction.
- NBN do not ring and talk to members of the public – anything to do with your Internet and home phone is handled by your Internet Service Provider (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Dodo, TPG, or whoever you have chosen);
- Microsoft will not ring you and tell you they have discovered a problem with your computer and offer to fix it for free;
- Law enforcement do not ring you and threaten you with “jail” for not paying a fine – and we use the term “prison” here;
- Similarly, the ATO do not ring you to either threaten you or offer a refund;
- You bank will not ring you and ask for banking details and passwords.
Be vigilant, be wary. Do not download programs or apps suggested by someone on the phone – there will be tears!
Scamwatch is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams. The purpose of Scamwatch is to help you recognise scams and avoid them.