Criminals will attempt to obtain personal and banking information by deception which can occur in a number of different ways including, online, via the telephone and even face to face.
It is important to stay up to date with the latest scams as well as how to identify them to ensure you don’t become a victim.
Some of the more common methods that criminals use include:
Hoax emails claims to be sent from legitimate companies including financial institutions, requesting passwords or login details. Often hoax emails will also use links and/or attachments to direct you to false sites or download viruses or trojans to your computer or mobile device.
Some common ways to detect hoax emails include:
Similar to hoax emails criminals will also try to obtain personal and banking information by way of phone calls. Callers may impersonate your financial institution, government department (ATO etc) and other large companies such as Telstra or Microsoft.
Some common ways to detect and protect you from hoax phone calls include:
Ten’s of thousands of Australians are being scammed out of millions of dollars each year. There are lots of different scams, but some of the more common ones to be on the look out for include:
The increasing popularity of online dating has proved to provide an attractive target for criminals who prey on people looking for love or romance. Scammers target victims by creating fake profiles on legitimate internet dating services. Once you are in contact with a scammer, they will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website, to phone, email and/or instant messaging. Scammers often claim to be from Australia, but travelling or working overseas. Once they have gained your trust they will ask you (either subtly or directly) for money, gifts or your banking/credit card details. They will pretend to need these for a variety of reasons. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover. On occasions the scammers will also send money to victims for them to on forward, either locally or overseas. These funds are generally stolen money, which implicates the victim in money laundering activities.
Job and employment scams target people who are looking for work, a change in employment or seeking earn some additional money. These jobs are frequently advertised online and often promise significant income from limited hours or the flexibility of working from home. The primary purpose of this scam is to recruit people to be unwitting “Money mules”. A money mule is a person who receives stolen funds, usually from Internet Banking fraud and then on-forwards that money to someone else, either locally or overseas and receives a commission for doing so. Transferring money in this manner is considered money laundering and is a criminal offence.
Inheritance or lottery scams usually start with an unsolicited email, letter or text message advising of a large sum of money which has either been inherited or won in a lottery. Generally the letter will ask you to respond quickly and confidentially to secure the funds. You may be asked to provide personal and account details for funds to be deposited into your account. You may also be asked to send money to pay fee’s or charges relating to having the winnings released.
For more detailed information on scams, warning signs and how to protect yourself go to www.scamwatch.gov.au
You can also download the Government of South Australia's Fighting Scams and Fraud brochure.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, contact People's Choice Credit Union immediately.
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