LTips from National Consumer Fraud Week organisers to help you avoid scams.


Have you ever received a phone call or SMS out of the blue from someone you don’t know, a ‘phishy’ email or ‘lucky’ letter?

Have you ever had an unknown knock at the door or a strange request from an online friend or admirer?

Almost everyone has. In fact, each week, hundreds of thousands of Australians are targeted by these fraudulent scam operators.

They try to sell you something that doesn’t exist or con you into giving out your personal details such as bank details, passport details, home addresses and so on.

Often they will tell you that you have won a major prize. Some scams involve look-alike bank sites asking you to enter your data.

Be on your guard! Don’t trust anyone you don’t know or can’t verify.

Each year, National Consumer Fraud Week is aimed at raising awareness of scam delivery methods so consumers can identify and slam a scam at the point of contact.

Scammers are increasingly sophisticated in how they deliver scams, taking advantage of new technology and communication methods to try and slip under your radar. Online platforms and mobile technology such as emails, social networking sites, smartphones and tablets make it easier to connect with people around the world and communicate in real time anonymously, privately or publicly. Unfortunately, scammers also take advantage of these benefits to target you.

Scammers are also not afraid to adopt a personal touch such as contacting you at home on your phone or at your door. They will try and push your buttons by playing on your emotions to evoke a sense of guilt, anxiety or fear. They also use slick tricks such as professional-looking websites or documents, and often pose as someone or an organisation that you know and trust.

Scammers will use any means to deliver a scam and get you to part with your money or personal details.

The message of National Consumer Fraud Week is: ‘If you receive a scam, slam it!’

Remember to press delete, throw it out, shut the door or just hang up.

Here are National Consumer Fraud Week’s tips to keep scammers at arm’s length.

DON’T RESPOND
Ignore suspicious emails, letters, house visits, phone calls or SMS – press ‘delete’, throw them out, shut the door or just hang up.

WATCH OUT FOR SLICK TRICKS
Scammers use sophisticated tricks to fool you such as fake websites, glossy brochures, technical jargon or posing as someone that you know and trust – don’t fall for them!

DON’T LET SCAMMERS PUSH YOUR BUTTONS
Scammers will play on your emotions to get what they want.

PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY
Your personal details are private and invaluable – keep them that way and away from scammers.

Fighting fraud: we can all play a part.

National Consumer Fraud Week is an annual event to raise public awareness about scams. It is a cross-agency event run by the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT) co-ordinated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ATO is also a member of the ACFT.

More information

Online security
There are many different types of scams. Find out about the latest ATO related scams.

How to report a scam
How to report a scam

Watch out for scams - protect yourself
How to protect yourself from scams

Identity theft and your tax file number
What you need to know about protecting your identity

Identity crime and fraudulent tax returns
What should you look out for