What is a scam?
Most scams are offering something that sounds too good to be true. Scams are fraudulent schemes promising large sums of money, often from foreign countries. They often ask their target for some type of service, or fee to be paid, before they grant payment. Scams can also be disguised as a ‘free trial’ offer in which they want your payment details before they give you the ‘free trial’.
How scammers make contact
Scammers may contact you via mail, email, SMS, telephone, eBay or even door-knocking.
List of common scams
- Contacting you and requesting remote access to your computer or phone
- Offering exclusive entry to a lottery through payment of an upfront fee
- Offering a payment to receive ‘how to make money’ information, lottery or horse betting predictions, or personalised horoscopes
- Advising of goods or prizes awaiting collection once a delivery fee is paid
- Offering the opportunity to take part in a competition after payment of a fee
- Advertising jobs that offer you a commission for you taking payment for sale of goods into your own personal account and then transferring the funds to another account, usually via Western Union
- Offering free trials where payment details are required for a postage fee, and then much larger payments are processed if the trial is not cancelled within a very short timeframe
What to do
If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, or you find yourself the victim of a scam, contact us on 132 888 immediately so we can take precautions to protect your account. Information on scams, and methods used by scammers, can be found at scamwatch.gov.au.
Investment scams warning
Scammers keep finding new ways to trick people into parting with their hard-earned money. Fake investment companies and companies offering unlicensed financial services are becoming more and more convincing. They might even claim to be low risk with high return, but if the company is not legitimate, it’s extremely high risk.
You can protect yourself. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Always be wary of someone you don’t know offering you a great investment – over the phone, by email, or in person. Ensure they’re legitimate before giving them any money. Help to protect yourself by checking to see if they are licensed with ASIC to make sure that they are allowed to be doing business in Australia.
On moneysmart.gov.au you can search a list of companies that ASIC has identified as unlicensed. You can also read about different types of scams and the methods fraudsters might use to try to get you to part with your money.