In the first six months of 2016, Scamwatch has reported Australians have lost over $48 million to scams.Everyone is a target and with scam artists increasingly getting more and more sophisticated, it’s easy to fall prey.
Scamwatch provides a number of tips to help protect you against scams including:
- Be alert to the fact that scams exist
Always consider the possibility that uninvited contacts from people or businesses could be a scam.
- Know who you’re dealing with
Do your research, particularly if you have only met a person online or if you are unsure of the legitimacy of a businesses.
- Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails – delete them
If unsure, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
- Keep your personal details secure
Put a lock on your mailbox and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing them out. Keep your passwords and pin numbers in a safe place and be very careful about how much personal information you share on social media sites.
- Keep your mobile devices and computers secure
Always use password protection, don’t share access with others (including remotely), update security software and back up content. Protect your WiFi network with a password and avoid using public computers or WiFi hotspots to access online banking.
- Choose your passwords carefully
Update your passwords regularly and choose one that would be difficult to others to guess. And don’t use the same password for every account you have.
- Beware of any requests for your details or money
Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust.
- Be careful when shopping online
Beware of offers that seem too good to be true, and always use an online shopping service that you know and trust.
According to Scamwatch research, you are most likely to be approached by a scammer via phone (49%), followed by email (28.4%), text message (5.6%) and social networking (2.4%). Keep up-to-date with the latest scams and find out more tips at www.scamwatch.gov.au