13 December, 2017 | Safety and Security
The ACCC is warning the community to be wary of scammers trying to ruin their Christmas holidays.
“Scammers often try to take advantage of people during the busy Christmas period and prey on our vulnerabilities at this time of year. For example, they may take advantage of you looking for a good deal on a family holiday, searching for a loved one’s present at an online store, or even that you’re expecting a present from someone through the post.”
Watch out for three common holiday season scams:
- Travel scams: scammers trick their victims into believing they’ve won a travel prize or scored a really good deal on a travel package, like a cruise. Unfortunately these seemingly too-good-to-be-true holidays are nothing more than a scammer’s con. In the past 12 months, nearly $86,000 has been lost to this scam, with about 1750 reports.
- Online shopping scams: scammers will set up believable looking online stores to trick people into goods that don’t really exist. They might also set up fake online classified or auction site listings. They entice people with legitimate looking discounts and may even advertise items as the perfect Christmas present for a loved one. This scam has cost Australians more than $1.3 million in the past 12 months, with more than 6440 reports.
- Parcel delivery scams: with millions of packages moving across the country to get under a Christmas tree in time, scammers will send fake ‘missed delivery’ notices to potential victims. These scams are aimed at getting people to download malware or ransomware onto their PCs, which can be costly to remove; or steal their personal information. Scamwatch has received about 1700 reports of this scam in the past 12 months.
“Your personal information is often just as valuable to a scammer as your money so always be careful about the information you give out online,” Ms Rickard said.
“There are some simple tips you can follow to stay ahead of scammers these holidays.”
“If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research on any online stores you’re using, especially if it’s for the first time. Never do a deal or make a payment outside the online auction site you are using. If you are buying from a classified website only hand over the money when you have physically inspected the goods. Finally, never open attachments or download files you receive out of the blue—no matter who the email comes from or how legitimate it looks,” Ms Rickard said.
Follow @scamwatch_gov on Twitter and subscribe to Scamwatch radar alerts to get up-to-date warnings.
Source: ScamWatch website (11 December 2017)
12 December, 2016 | National News
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Watch out for fake parcel delivery scams this Christmas
Scammers are sending emails pretending to be from Australia Post or FedEx, to try and trick you into believing you have an ‘undeliverable package’. In some cases, these emails may include your name and address and include legitimate-looking company information, complete with fake logos.
The email may threaten to charge you a fee for holding your ‘undelivered item’, and will ask you to open an attachment, click a link or download a file to retrieve your parcel. If you follow these instructions, you will likely download a ransomware virus that locks your computer.
To unlock your computer, scammers demand payment in the form of bitcoins (a form of online currency) or wire transfer. Even if you pay the fee, there is no guarantee that you will be able to access your computer again.
Australia Post will never call you out of the blue to request payment or send you an email asking you to click on an attachment.
If you receive an email about an un-deliverable package, don’t open any attachments or download files – delete it straight away!
Find out more at Scamwatch.gov.au
29 October, 2013 | State News
Check your tradie.
Check your rights.
NSW Fair Trading Week is a week-long celebration to raise awareness about consumer and trader issues in the community. It will be held from 3 – 8 November 2013.
During Fair Trading Week, events all across the State will bring our message directly to the people of NSW. Our staff will be out in the community talking to consumers and visiting traders, making sure that everyone get the chance to hear about their rights and responsibilities in the marketplace.
17 June, 2013 | Safety and Security
National Consumer Fraud Week 2013
Australian consumers are increasingly going online to buy goods and services, taking advantage of the speed, convenience and greater choice that the internet can offer. Unfortunately scammers like shopping online for their victims too.
Scammers are increasingly sophisticated in how they deliver scams, taking advantage of new technologies and communication methods to try and slip under your radar. Scammers exploit the anonymous nature of the web to target Australians buying and selling online.
National Consumer Fraud Week 2013 is all about helping Australians to ‘outsmart the scammers’ by staying one click ahead!
Online shopping scams target both buyers and sellers, with the two most common scams being:
Classified ad scams – a scammer posts a fake ad on a legitimate classifieds website for cheaply priced popular items. If a consumer shows interest in an item, the scammer will claim that the goods will be delivered following receipt of payment. If the consumer pays, they will not receive the goods or be able to contact the seller.
Overpayment scams – a scammer will respond to a seller’s ad with a generous offer and will then ‘accidentally’ overpay. The scammer will ask the seller to refund the excess amount by money transfer in hope that the seller will transfer the money before they discover that the scammer’s cheque has bounced or that the money order was phony. The seller will lose the money, as well as the item they were selling, if they have already sent it on to the scammer.
Stay one click ahead of the scammers – visit the SCAMwatch website to find out more about how scams work, how to protect yourself and what to do if you’ve been scammed.
Fill out the 2013 scam survey & help in the fight against scams!