Scammers are constantly looking for new ways to steal money. Scams can target anyone and it’s important to remember that everyone is vulnerable to scams, so everyone needs to be aware of how to avoid them. Some people think that only the gullible and greedy fall victim to scams. The truth is, scammers are clever and if you don’t know what to look out for, anyone can fall victim to a scam.
Have you or a family member received an offer that is too good to be true? Perhaps a phone call from Microsoft to fix a virus in your computer, or a threat to pay money you do not owe? What about an alert from your bank or telecommunications provider about a problem with your account or even an invitation to connect online? Scammers know how to press your buttons to get what they want.
The golden rules to protect yourself are:
Be alert. Always consider the possibility that uninvited contact from people or businesses such as the ATO, energy providers, telecommunications companies or software companies such as Microsoft, maybe a scam – whether made via phone, post, email, in person, or social networking sites.
- Don’t respond to phone calls about your computer asking for remote access – HANG UP.
- Do some research – if you are unsure of the legitimacy of a person or business, search for their business details online to find their number or business details. Never call them back on the number they have given.
- Don’t open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails – DELETE THEM. Never provide credit card details or purchase gift cards to unsolicited callers.
- Install security software on your computer, keep it up-to-date and install security patches when they become available.
- Stay up-to-date on recent scams and what to look out for.