Telephone calls were the most common scam in Australia in 2013, increasing by 13 per cent to 39,921. Among the most prominent telephone scams reported are fake call centre operators impersonating technical staff from different organisations, including Telstra.
In 2013 the ACCC received nearly 37,000 reports about online scams involving internet and email, representing increases of almost 47 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
The combined financial losses of Australians involved in telephone and online scams this past year was more than $71 million.
This I believe is small compared to the true cost – people are embarrassed to report when they have been taken advantage of.
- Microsoft scam – phone call saying there is something wrong with your computer
- Telstra scam , your phone line is about to be cut off can you tell us your user name and password
- Buying bogus software online for a cheap price – if it seems too good to be true
- Dating scam – supplying credit card information to a bogus dating company, very embarrassing for some people to admit
- Companies calling you to participate in an advertising deal for some “fictitious” charity “- businesses can be targeted through the phone numbers on their Facebook page
Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to call your bank or financial institution
These scams are all about getting your personal information or filling in missing pieces about you
Tips to avoid email and internet scams
- Be wary of telephone calls from numbers they don’t recognise, or emails sent from companies and addresses that aren’t familiar – if you don’t think it was meant for you it probably wasn’t
- If in doubt, visit trusted websites by typing the internet address (URL) directly into the browser address bar, rather than clicking on a link embedded in an email.
- Never respond to requests for personal information in an unexpected email or pop-up window.
- If in doubt, always contact the company that claims to be the sender of the email or pop-up window, using their official contact details.
- Make sure all your devices are protected by keeping your operating system and software updated with regular updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software.