It’s National Scams Awareness Week!
Shockingly, the ACCC suspects that Australians will lose record amounts in 2019, and by the end of the year, government agencies expect losses to exceed $532 million.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard says that scammers are getting more sophisticated. “People need to update their idea of what a scam is so that we are less vulnerable. Scammers are professional businesses dedicated to ripping us off. They have call centres with convincing scripts, staff training programs, and corporate performance indicators their ‘employees’ need to meet.”
One of the best ways to keep yourself safe is to get a good sense of what kind of new scams are running. The ACCC has a challenge to help test your scam awareness. Check that out here: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/spot-the-scam-signs
The most sophisticated scams are investment scams. These result in the largest financial losses. The scammers are smart and surprisingly convincing, as nearly half of the investment scams reported to the ACCC result in financial loss.
Cryptocurrency investment scams are at an all-time high with losses adding up to over $14.76 million from January 2019 to July 2019 in Australia alone. Increased fake celebrity endorsements appear to be contributing to these figures.
Be wary of ads you see on the internet. Don’t be persuaded by celebrity endorsements or ‘not to be missed’ opportunities. You never know for certain who you are dealing with or whether they are credible.
If you are contacted by an organisation and you are not sure of their legitimacy, check the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) list of companies you should not deal with.
Other tips to keep in mind:
- Research any organisation that makes unsolicited (or unwanted) contact with you.
- Always be vigilant whenever browsing online or answering calls.
- Never give anyone your personal details.
There’s no shame in being the victim of a scam: it can happen to anyone! Scammers are working hard to find new ways to separate you from your money. The best thing you can do is be aware of their methods and keep an eye out for anything that looks suspicious.
If you ever receive any communication – including calls, emails, or letters – asking about your super or claiming to be from Australian Catholic Superannuation, feel free to give us a call to check it out. You can reach us on 1300 658 776.