It’s that time of year again, the end of financial year (EOFY) season. While we’re looking around for a bargain, scammers are also looking to prey on us, to take advantage and have us part with our hard-earned cash in the lead up to tax time.
Australians have lost over $77 million in scams in the first four months of 2021 alone. This is a huge indication that online scams are not going away anytime soon. Be wary of anything you click online or on your phone, as scams can be found in emails, text messages and phone calls.
To avoid getting caught in a scam, ensure you follow these precautions:
- Be alert to potential scams
If you are receiving unsolicited contact from people or businesses via phone, email or on social networking sites, always consider the possibility this may be a scam, and treat it as such.
- Do not open suspicious links or pop-ups
If you come across a link, pop-up or email attachment that looks questionable, delete it. If you are unsure if it is legitimate or not, ensure you verify the identity of the contact/business via an independent source such as an online search before engaging.
- Beware of any requests for your personal details or money
If you receive any requests for credit card details, online account details or even copies of personal documents, think again. Do not send this information to anyone you don’t know or trust.
- Watch out for fake retail stores
Scammers set up fake retail websites that offer desirable items such as luxury/popular items of clothing, jewellery and electronics, at very affordable prices, to draw you in. In some instances, you will receive an item but it’s a fake, and other times the item will not turn up at all. How do you know if this online store is fake? The biggest red flag is if its payment method is through money order, wire transfer or pre-loaded money cards.
- Ensure your devices are secure
Protect your computer, laptop or mobile devices from scammers by backing up your data, using a strong password and updating your security software regularly. Trend Micro Device Security Ultimate provides protection from online threats such as malware and scams by scanning and blocking any suspicious emails or text messages on your devices.
If you would like to report a scam, contact Scamwatch here.