Right now we are all spending more time at home and online, which gives us more opportunities to face and fall victim to a scam. To be sure, you need to keep up to date with how scammers are changing their tactics and adapting them to the current environment.
Watch out for phishing emails
We are interacting with organizations online more than ever as companies and government agencies keep us updated on how our societies are changing and their services are adapting.
With an increase in inbound communication, it is important to be careful when clicking links in emails and opening attachments. Scammers often send fake emails that look real but aim to steal your valuable personal information by tricking you into entering your safe information on a fake website.
When you receive an email from an organization, it is always safest to go directly to their website from your web browser and sign in from there rather than clicking a link.
Find out more about how you can protect your personal data on our website Try to get personal information Website.
Be wary of ATO-related phone scams
The tax season tends to increase the number of scams, and as the personal and financial circumstances of many people change, there are numerous ways for scammers to take advantage of people’s insecurity.
The ATO has received reports by scammers sending members of the public automated phone calls purporting to be from the ATO, Services Australia and the Department of Legal Services, claiming that their TFN has been suspended and that they are under litigation.
The call tells people that they need to contact the caller by pressing “1”. Otherwise, they will be referred to the court and arrested and then asked to provide private financial information.
When you receive that call, hang up and do not provide the requested information. The ATO or any other government agency will never send unwanted recorded voicemails or threaten you with immediate arrest.
For more information on how to detect blackmail attempts, please visit our Threats and Blackmail website.
Don’t fall for investment fraud
The prospect of a high-yielding, low-risk investment can be tempting as people seek alternative means of generating an income, especially if the current situation has adversely affected your personal circumstances.
Investment fraud is the most common fraud reported to the ACCC. It often starts with a cold call giving the public the option of not being available.
The type of investment offered varies – it can be stocks, real estate, virtual currencies, options trading or forex trading. The scammers can be very persuasive and consider the opportunity low risk with the option to sell at anytime or get a refund for default. Often accompanied by polished marketing collateral, these scams can feel like a legitimate opportunity.
Be careful. As with many scams and scams, it is most likely if the offer seems too good to be true.
If the person making the offer does not have an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL), calls you repeatedly or says that you need to make a quick decision to avoid missing out on the investment offer, it could be a scam. If you see any of these signs, hang up and end the call.
For more information on how to protect yourself from such scams, please visit our Investment Scams website.
Protect yourself from superannuation fraud
The ability to access retirement provision early through the Financial Hardship program has some people firmly in the spotlight of fraudsters. In May 2020, the federal police temporarily suspended the program when they investigated nearly 150 fraudulent withdrawals.
Scammers typically call people claiming they are from organizations that can help them get early access to their super or offer to check if they are eligible.
Be careful of incoming callers who want to talk to you about your Super. If you’d like to discuss your super, please contact your supplier directly using the details on their website.
If you believe you have provided information about your superannuation to a scammer, contact your superannuation provider immediately and let them know.
Be careful of romance scams
As you spend more time at home, more and more people are turning to online dating and other social platforms for personal connection. Unfortunately, the person behind the profile isn’t always who they say they are, and dating apps are common hunting grounds for scammers trying to create an emotional connection with their victims and then soliciting money.
The scams aren’t just limited to traditional dating sites and apps. ACCC Fraud Control reports that the highest casualties were from romance scams on Instagram and Facebook, also using mobile social games such as Words with Friends.
The key to security is never to give out personal or financial information to anyone you haven’t met in person, regardless of who they are or how strong you feel for them.
Visit our dating and relationship cheating website to learn more about how to protect yourself.
Avoid cheating with banned puppies
Lockdown has resulted in more people than ever looking for companionship in the form of a pet. Having a new pup is a popular way to beat the lockdown blues. Unfortunately, the rise in demand for four-legged friends has also led to a surge in puppy-related scams, with unscrupulous classifieds sellers taking money for dogs that don’t exist. Scamwatch reported that in April 2020 the number of dog-related scams reported increased 500% compared to a typical month in 2019, with popular breeds like Cavoodles and French Bulldogs being the most likely.
If you’re considering buying a pet online, it’s a good idea to do a reverse image search of the images used in the ads and paste the wording of the ad into a search engine to see if they’ve been used elsewhere. If so, it can be a warning sign that something is wrong.
For more information on common scams, please visit our Buying and Selling Scams website.
These six scams are among the most common currently reported, but the scammers’ tactics are constantly evolving. Keep an eye on ours Facebook site to stay up to date on the latest scams.
If you have been involved in a fraud involving your Qudos account, forward the hoax email or fraud details to [email protected] or contact us on 1300 747 747 (Mon-Fri 7 am-7pm and Sat 9 am-5pm). .
Qudos Mutual Limited is trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL / Australian Loan License 238 305. The information in this article is general in nature and was created without considering your goals, financial situation, or needs. Before acting on the information, check that it is appropriate for your circumstances.
Article published in August 2020
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