Every year, thousands of Australians are targeted by scams, whether it be online, via phone, mail or even in person.
The Port Stephens Examiner has compiled a list of current scams identified on scamwatch.gov.au, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's website dedicated to informing people about fraudulent and dishonest activities:
- A scammer contacts you pretending to be from a legitimate business such a bank, telephone or internet service provider. You may be contacted by email, social media, phone call, or text message.
- The scammer asks you to provide or confirm your personal details. For example, the scammer may say that the bank or organisation is verifying customer records due to a technical error that wiped out customer data. Or, they may ask you to fill out a customer survey and offer a prize for participating.
- They will take you to a fake website that looks like the real deal, but has a slightly different address.
- If you provide the scammer with your details online or over the phone, they will use them to carry out fraudulent activities, such as using your credit cards and stealing your money.
- Scamwatch has received reports of texts offering emergency assistance to people impacted by bushfires. Be sure a message is genuine before calling anyone. Find the phone number of the organisation on its official website and call in relation to assistance or relief packages.
- Emergencies often bring out fake fundraising scams. If you want to help those affected by bushfires, check the organisation is legitimate before you donate.
- If you are looking to buy or adopt a pet online always meet the animal and research the seller. Be wary of unusual requests for additional fees and never give out your personal information to someone you do not know and trust.