National Scams Awareness Week.
Scams Awareness Week is an annual education and awareness initiative from the ACCC and Scamwatch.
Scams cost Australians, businesses, and the economy hundreds of millions of dollars each year and cause serious emotional harm to those impacted, and their families - in 2020 alone, reported losses exceeded $850 million*.
Knowing how scams work, and how to protect your personal and financial information can help protect you from scams.
"Let’s talk scams"
Scams are constantly evolving. The more we know about scams, the warning signs, and the tactics scammers use, the better we'll be able to help protect each other from scams.
It’s important to TALK. The more we share this information with family and friends the easier it is to identify and prevent scam attempts.
The more we TALK and share, the better protected we will be.
- Talk to us - trust we’re here to help.
- Ask for help – get a trusted second opinion.
- Listen out for any red flags – does anything just seem a bit ‘odd’, or are you asked to keep something secret.
- Know the threats and what to do to stay safe.
The most common scams impacting Australians
Scam Warning Signs
There are a few warning signs when it comes to spotting a scam. Here are some situations to look out for:
- You’re asked to share your passwords, security code or SMS code with anyone, including your family and friends.
- When an offer claims that you can't lose, has very little risk, or simply seems too good to be true.
- You receive unsolicited contact via phone, email, SMS or a popup message, with pressure or intimidation to complete an action on the spot.
- Unusual payment methods such as gift cards, crypto currency, using a transfer agent or cash withdrawals.
- You receive payment instructions from a trusted supplier or conveyancer with different payment details.
- You’re told not to tell anyone or are coached on what to say if asked.
How to protect yourself
Here are some tips to help protect you from scams.
- Consider if the request is genuine. Always research who you’re dealing with and/or get a trusted second opinion.
- Keep Security software up to date on all devices.
- Don’t open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails – its best to delete or exit out of these.
- Keep your personal/business details secure and don’t share passwords and security codes with anyone.
- Never give a stranger or unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or device.
- Don’t send money or provide your personal details to anyone you have only interacted with online or via the phone.
- Always verbally validate the payment requests received via email. Use an independently sourced phone number you trust to check the account details. Don’t use the phone numbers in the email or invoice.
- Be open with the bank regarding your transactions. The bank needs all the information to help protect you and your money.
By arming yourself and others with scam prevention knowledge you can help protect each other.
Find out more
Where to seek help
If you've lost money or given your personal details to a scammer, there are steps you can take straight away to limit the damage and protect yourself from further loss.
- If you’ve sent money or shared your banking or credit card details, contact us immediately.
- If you’ve given your personal information to a scammer, visit IDCARE (www.idcare.org), Australia and New Zealand’s not-for-profit national identity and cyber support service. IDCARE can work with you to develop a specific response plan to your situation and support you through the process.
- Take the time to warn your friends and family about these scams.
- If the scam occurred on social media, report it to the social media platform.
Register for Australian Government’s Scamwatch email alerts to get updates on the latest types of scams targeting Australian consumers and small business.