Three common scams to watch out for

Scammers are becoming more clever with the tactics they use to steal people’s money. Here are three tricks many flimflam artists are using in 2022.

Have you ever received a text message that doesn’t look quite right? It may be advising of a delivery for something you did not order or promising quick cash if you click the link.

Scams are constantly evolving and many have escalated in the past year, becoming more sophisticated and harder to avoid.

In fact, Australians lost a staggering $205 million to scammers in the first five months of this year – a 166 per cent increase on the same period from the previous year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) states.

Here are three scams doing the round this year that are worth keeping an eye out for.

1.Cryptocurrency cons

Many of us have heard about the meteoric rise of cryptocurrency and may be keen to get in on the ground floor. However, scammers have also taken note, with some promising whopping returns that are simply too good to be true.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard warned investors to avoid making cash transfers to people they don’t know.

“Many consumers are unfamiliar with the complexities of cryptocurrency and this can make them more vulnerable to scams,” Ms Rickard said.

2. Callers purportedly from Amazon or eBay

Scammers are cashing in on our love for online shopping by promising people phoney refunds.

The ACCC states that some scammers have been calling people and claiming they are from Amazon or eBay and need to refund some money for an item the person has supposedly purchased on their credit card. Once they receive the person’s bank details, they can remotely access their computer and steal private information.

3. Victimising victims

These can really hurt.

Scammers have been targeting people who have already lost money to other scams by claiming to be a money-recovery agent, the ACCC stated. Often, they tell the victim they’ve been put in charge of getting their money back, but need some personal information to do so. Once it is handed over, they fleece the victim once again.

"These scams can lead to significant psychological distress, as many of the people have already lost money or identity information,” Ms Rickard said.

What you can do

There are a few things you, as a consumer, may be able to do to spot or stop a scam.

  1. If you are suspicious of a phone call, hang up immediately. If you are not sure, you can also ask for the phone number to call the person back, then do some further research.
  2. Frequently change your passwords to reduce the likelihood of someone getting remote access to your details.
  3. If you see a text you are not sure about, do not click the link.
  4. If you think you have been scammed, report it to the ACCC’s Scamwatch. The ACCC cannot help you get your money back, but alerting it may help protect other potential victims.



Important notes

The advice on this website is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You must decide whether or not it is appropriate, in light of your own circumstances, to act on this advice. 

The content in this article was provided by COBA.

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