Scammers as we know, take from businesses and individuals – especially the vulnerable – by gaining trust, then taking personal information and hard-earned money.
While scammers are nothing new, they’re adapting, constantly trying to find new ways to make other people pay. The solution? Prevention. Prevent yourself, loved ones and others from getting scammed with some savvy strategies.
Read more from Gold Coast Business Accountants to learn the tips and tricks to stay smarter than the scammers.
The uncomfortable statistics
Scamwatch, led by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is a public website resource aimed to educate individuals and small business owners about scammer behaviour, and to provide reporting channels.
Nobody likes a scammer – be they an individual, group or entity whose sole purpose is to deceive, infiltrate software, learn confidential information, but mostly commonly – steal money.
We hate to admit it – but some scammers are very convincing, which likely explains why so many people and businesses fall for them.
- Australians lost $177 million to investment scams alone in 2021
- Cryptocurrency scams are considered the most popular type of investment scam – representing a whopping 50% of losses in this category
- Other scam categories include dating and romance, remote access scams, false billings, identity theft, online shopping, phishing, hacking and, shockingly – threats to life, arrest or harm.
- By age group, over 65’s are at a higher risk of losing money to scams, followed by 55 – 64 year old’s.
What can you do?
While it’s nice to believe everyone has good intentions, don’t.
For some individuals, scamming is their ‘day job.’ Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and loved ones from falling victim.
Some of these may seem like common sense, but even one instance of letting your guard down can have significant consequences.
So, what should you and your loved ones do?
- Never give any personal information to someone who has contacted you.
- Attempt to verify the identity of the person contacting you and then hang up.
- Contact the relevant organisation directly of who the caller says they represent to corroborate the person’s existence and if they work there.
- Don’t click on hyperlinks in text, via social media messages or emails – even if it looks like a trusted source.
- Look up a website directly into the browser.
- Be wary of sellers requesting unusual payment methods and verify changes of bank details by contacting the supplier directly.
- Never allow a stranger remote access to your computer, even if they say they’re from a telecommunications company like Telstra.
- Keep your mobile devices, computers & WiFi network secure. Update security software and backup your data frequently.
It’s recommended by Scamwatch and industry experts to consider setting up a multi-factor approval process for transactions over a certain dollar amount. Stay safe out there online and in the real world.
Stay in the know
Crest Accountants are here for you. We’ll help you manage your finances and stay educated on the issues that may affect you, such as the latest scams targeting cryptocurrency investing.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you.