How Consumers Can Protect Themselves From Scams

In the age of the Internet, it is easier than ever for scammers to reach millions of consumers with fake offers designed to deprive consumers of private details, money, or sensitive information. Fortunately, the Brisbane Times provided these simple steps that everyone can take to reduce the risk of being scammed.

Types of Scams

Research suggests that around six million Australian are exposed to frauds or scams every year. Of these, 1.2 million become victims of fraud, losing a total of $1.4 billion each year. Scams can involve transferring money online, offers to get rich quick, lotteries, and email scams.

Recognising Signs of Scams

Scammers will usually contact consumers and apply specific tactics to encourage consumers to provide private information. Scams often feature high, fast monetary gains, promises of low risk, or special discounts that are too good to be true.

Questions to Ask

One of the ways to avoid being scammed is to ask for verification information. Request details such as physical addresses, Australian Business Numbers, return phone numbers, licensing, qualifications, and other verifiable facts.

What to Avoid

Consumers can protect themselves by refusing to transfer money or give out bank details. Be careful when giving out personal details, which can be used for identity theft.

Be aware of scammers that impersonate banks or telecommunications companies and ask for personal information. Where there is any doubt, call the company back on their official line. If the consumer encounters a scammer, they should report the scam to www.scamwatch.gov.au.