Australia’s Security and Investment Commission (ASIC) saw a 15% increase in scamming reports and complaints compared to the same period in 2014, with the average loss being $26,408.
Investment Schemes and Dating & Romance Schemes accounted for 56% of the value in losses, although numbering only 3.7% of the received reports.
Whilst women reported more scams, men lost two thirds more money then women. ASIC also reported that 40% of reports were made by over 55s.
So, how can you protect yourself?
ASIC’s ScamWatch website is a great resource that can help you determine if what you are seeing is a listed and reported scam.
For more information, visit http://www.scamwatch.gov.au
Protect your Data
Any type of personal information can be potentially used by scammers to create a fake identify or target you.
Lock your mailbox, shred your bills or any other important documents before you throw them out. Is your password or PIN number in a safe place or perhaps it is on a post it note on your computer or fridge?
How much information do you share on social media?
Don’t use public computers or WiFi hotspots to access online banking or provide personal information.
Is your password a mix of upper and lower case letters, number and symbols to make it harder for someone to guess?
Do I know you?
Would you give all your hard earned money to someone you’ve never met on the street? When dealing with people online, you should take the same precaution. If you receive any request for money from someone you haven’t personally met or if you are not sure that they are legitimate, take the time to research them.
Google search their photo to ensure that it is really them and not a fake profile. Many companies won’t use links back to their site on their emails which help deter fake pages – check their website to see if they do this.
There are lots of things you can do to protect yourself from individuals who are looking to fleece you of your hard earned cash.
To learn more, visit http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/get-help/protect-yourself-from-scams
At the end of the day, the classic proverb stands, ‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.’