How to help protect yourself from scams

  

Help protect yourself from scammers

As our lives become increasingly reliant on digital technologies, it’s more important than ever to make sure we understand the dangers associated with cybercrime. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch, scams hit a record high in 2021. This saw Australians lose a staggering $323 million dollars to scams (an increase of 84% compared to 2020).1

To help you protect yourself from scammers here’s our top six tips:

  1. Understand that scams target everyone - When receiving communication from people or businesses, whether it's over the phone, by mail, email, in person or on social media always consider the possibility that it may be a scam. And remember, never click on a link or attachment in an email or text from a source you don't know or trust.
  2. Check who you're communicating with - If you've never met someone in person or haven’t heard of the business, take some time to research them. If an unusual email or message comes from a friend or family member, contact them directly to check it was really from them. 
  3. Keep your personal information safe - Put a lock on your letterbox and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing them out. Keep your passwords and pin numbers in a safe place and be very careful about how much personal information you share on social media sites. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.
  4. Create strong passwords - Create passwords that are difficult to guess and update them regularly. A strong password should include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for every account or profile, and don’t share your passwords with anyone.
  5. Beware of requests for your details or money - Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to another person or company that you do not trust. Unusual payment methods can be a clear indication that something is not what it seems. Examples include preloaded debit cards, gift cards or virtual currency such as Bitcoin. 
  6. Keep yourself up to date with the latest scams - Visit the ACCC’s Scamwatch for news and alerts in your area. 

Lastly, if you think you are being targeted by a scam visit the ACCC’s Scamwatch website for information on where you can get help.  

1 Savings.com.au, News, Australians lost a record $323 million to scams in 2021, January 2022.