Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels across Australia. Most scams seem like genuine offers but are carefully designed to trick you into giving away your money or personal details. Below are some of the tactics used by scammers, and some things you can do to protect yourself.
Tactics scammers use include:
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself.
Do your own checks: Always do your own research on a company before you deal with them. Seek independent professional or legal advice so you are not relying solely on the information the potential scammer gives you. Where relevant you can check the company’s Australian financial services licence or Australian credit licence number by searching ASIC Connect’s Professional Registers. You can also check ASIC’s list of companies you should not deal with.
Ask the right questions: Ask the person making you an offer for details of the company they represent, its address and its licence number or ABN. If they avoid answering, the deal they are offering is probably a scam. If they answer your questions, be cautious and do your own checks on their answers.
Protect your personal information: Don’t give out any personal, banking or credit card information to anyone who makes contact with you.
Reduce telemarketing calls: Put your name on the Do Not Call Register to remove your name from telemarketing phone lists.
Be on guard about every offer that is made to you. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. The best defence against scams is to hang up the phone, delete the email or destroy the letter if you think it looks even vaguely like a scam.
ASIC’s MoneySmart website (moneysmart.gov.au) has more information about common types of scams, where to report them and what to do if you have been scammed.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission