Wise Up to Scams

As part of RSVP’s ongoing efforts to help our members avoid falling victim to fraudulent activity, we've partnered with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to promote Fraud Week 2016.

Below is a message from the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce, highlighting the need for over 55s to be particularly vigilant.

Wise Up to Scams

National Consumer Fraud Week 2016

An initiative of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce

The ACCC has estimated Australians lost over $229 million to scammers in 2015.

This year, the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce is asking everyone to ‘wise up to scams’ and the focus of Fraud Week is on scams targeting over 55s. In 2015, older Australians lost more money to scams than ever before.

Reports to the ACCC show that investment scams and dating and romance scams account for half of the money lost by over 55’s in 2015.

Here are some simple tips on how to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Do not let anyone pressure you into making decisions. Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency so the recipient of the call will act impulsively. They do this through short deadlines, fake emergencies or threats of legal action.

  • Get a second opinion. If someone is requesting money from you and you have any doubts, discuss it with a trusted and reliable third party.

  • Investment opportunities. Do not respond to emails and phone calls from strangers offering predictions on shares, investment tips, or investment advice. Always do your own research before you invest any money and check the company or scheme is licensed on ASIC's MoneySmart website.

  • Dating online. Know who you’re dealing with. Don’t send money to someone you’ve never met in person. If someone approaches you on social media and you don’t know them, it may be a scam.

  • Cold call offering help with your computer. If you receive a call claiming to be from Microsoft, Telstra or anyone else telling you your computer has a problem, it is likely to be a scam. Never allow anyone to remotely log into your computer.

  • Government agency calling. Government agencies will generally write to you if you are entitled to money. If somebody calls you claiming to be from the Government offering you unexpected money, be cautious. Get enough information on the organisation and the caller and then find independent contact details so you can check the legitimacy of what you have been told.

Obtaining information form reliable and trustworthy sources is the best way to protect yourself from scams. For tips on how to avoid scams visit the Scamwatch website. For information on how to protect yourself from investment scams, visit ASIC’s MoneySmart website. Visit the Department of Communications and the Arts’ Stay Smart Online website for more information on internet security.

You can also follow Scamwatch on Twitter or subscribe to Scamwatch Radars.

RSVP is a Partner of the Taskforce and urges you to protect yourself against scams. Find our own Safe Dating Tips here.

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