Sophisticated scammers: They’re waiting for you

Living through a global pandemic has significantly increased our reliance on the internet and emails. And as our interest and dependence grows, so does our susceptibility to risk.

Online scams are being not only more prevalent, but also more sophisticated, and according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, people aged 55 to 64 are the group most likely to report losing money to scams.

According to the eSafety Commissioner:
Most phishing scams start with an email, text message or phone call that seems to be from a business that you trust, such as a bank, government agency or phone company.

Anyone can fall victim to these types of scams.

They can be frightening and overwhelming, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to keep yourself safer online.

I’ve received a suspicious text message. What do I do?

Do not reply to suspicious texts, click links in pop-up windows or open attachments in emails.

If you are unsure of the validity of the information, contact the business directly using your own contact details. Do not use any of the information or links provided in the email or text message.

If the email or text message is a scam, delete it immediately. Do not provide any information, don’t click on links, or engage with the message at all.

The eSafety Commissioner also recommends reporting the scam to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ScamWatch website.

Can you spot a scam? Australians aged 55 and over lost almost $141 million to scammers in 2021. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone of any age can fall victim.

It’s important to remember that even though the internet is a wonderful place to explore and connect with others, it pays to be savvy. So the eSafety Commissioner is running a free online presentation during Law Week to help you protect yourself. Find out more.

Does something not seem right? Phone calls with offers that sound too good to be true? Not sure if that email is legitimate? What about that text? Join Consumer Affairs Victoria for an informal talk about common scams, scam prevention and where to go for help this Law Week in Shepparton. See the details.

How can I keep my personal details secure?

There are two ways scammers can potentially access your personal information.

They can do it physically, by stealing them directly from your letterbox, or your home. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommend a lock on your letterbox, and keeping personal documents in a safe and secure place.

Or they can access your information through your mobile devices and computers. The ACCC recommends using password protection on all devices as well as your WiFi networks. It also recommends against using public WiFi, particularly when accessing banking or personal information.

What are the most common types of scams? Scams can trick anyone and everyone. Join this information session in Corio during Law Week and gain practical tips and techniques to help you detect, prevent, and avoid scams. Find out more.

What should my password be?

Choose your passwords carefully. A strong password should include a mix of upper and lower case letters and well as numerals and symbols.

You should change your password regularly and don’t use the same password across your accounts.

Most importantly, do not share your password with anyone.

Want to learn more about scams?

Come along and check out these events at Victorian Law Week 2022.

What should I do if I fall victim to a scam?

There are many organisations who can provide further information in relation to scams including:

Check out other events during
Victorian Law Week

The information in this article was sourced from Victoria Legal Aid, and the other legal, government, and community organisations mentioned. The content of this article does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and therefore, should not be relied upon as such. You should seek legal advice or other professional advice in relation to any matters you have. No claim or representation is made, or warranty given, express or implied, in relation to the content of this article.