Scamwatch is still finalising their figures for 2020 but early indications show Australian’s lost an estimated $650+ million to scams!Scams are on the rise, so it’s more important than ever to stay vigilant. That’s why we’ve put together some useful tips on how to keep yourself safe from scams, and information on what to do if you think you’ve been scammed.
How can you protect yourself?
Unfortunately, if scammers trick you into handing over your passwords or access to your devices, any transactions they make may appear genuine. If this happens, your stolen funds are almost impossible to recover.
So here’s some ways to stop that from happening.
- Never provide access to your computer or other devices to any caller. No matter their reason. This is a remote access scam to control your device, steal your banking passwords and send payments from your account. Your keystrokes can be tracked.
- Never download any software or visit a website because someone on the phone or via email has told you to.
- Never respond to fake pop-ups claiming you have computer issues. This is known as a ‘tech-support’ scam. Simply close your internet browser and run an anti-virus scan.
- Always verify a caller using an independently checked phone number, such as a contact number from an official website, bill, statement or phone book.
- Never give your card details, passwords or Secure SMS/One-Time Passcodes (OTP) to any caller. Even if you think they’re from a trusted company.
- Secure SMS codes and One-Time Passcodes (OTP) are sent to your mobile to authorise your payments from your account or card. If you are ever asked to give them to a person, this is a scam!
- Never move money or make purchases to help 'catch a hacker' or rogue employee. This is a scam using your money. Government agencies such as the ATO will never demand unusual payments to avoid arrest.
- Never trust promises of unusually high or quick returns for an investment, especially for cryptocurrency or unfamiliar products. Always check for an Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licence and follow ASIC’s guidance for consumers.
Think you’ve been scammed?If you think you have been the victim of a scam, you should:
- Contact your financial institution immediately
- Report it to ASIC and the police via cyber.gov.au
- Change your passwords and PINs straight away if you suspect your security has been compromised
- Contact IDCARE on 1800 595 160 or via idcare.org. IDCARE is a free, government-funded service that provides support to victims of identity crime.
- Visit our website for more information on scams.