Be aware! Make sure you know who you are dealing with.

Scams can come in many forms – phone calls, text messages or emails. If you received an email or text message telling you that you have won a lottery that you have never entered, it is most likely a scam.

You can avoid being the victim of a scam if you are careful with personal information. Never give out your personal information to unknown or unsecure sources. If you think it might be a scam, don’t reply at all – if it’s an email, delete it straight away.

If you get an email or text message that you want to report as a scam contact SCAMwatch.

SCAMwatch provides heaps of information about how to recognise and avoid scams – check them out.

Phone Scams

Scammers often call saying they are from a government agency or a phone or utility company and demand payments. If you receive a phone call from someone who claims to be calling from one of these services and you are suspicious, you are able to hang up.

For peace of mind, you can always look up the official phone number of the company or government department and give them a call yourself to check if you do in fact owe them anything.

(Also, be aware that real companies and government agencies would never request payment be made through something like a gift card).

If you have received a suspicious phone call, check out the SCAMwatch website and their Radar Alerts to see if anything there sounds similar to what you experienced.  You can also report scam activities on the SCAMwatch website.

Email Scams

What if it looks official? A bank would not generally send you an email telling you there is suspicious activity in your account and then ask you to verify your personal details – don’t click the link within a suspicious email to verify anything.

These dodgy emails are called phishing. If you want to check any details with your bank, you should always use the official phone number or website and never the phone number, email link or website link in the suspicious email.

Dating Scams

Sadly, some people try and take advantage of those looking for dating or romance through dating apps or websites.  They often do this by playing on emotions in order to obtain money, or gifts, or even to try and get your personal details from you.

This is called catfishing.

Usually they’ll try to get your personal details by arranging to contact you outside of the app or website, and will probably try and gain your trust by telling you how much they love you/need you/want you. Be aware – it happens more often than you think.

The SCAMwatch Dating and Romance page has lots more info.