Scams Awareness Week
This year's Scams Awareness Week is the first campaign established by the National Anti-Scam Centre.
The top three most reported impersonation scams were road toll scams (19,141 reports), Australian Government
impersonation scams (17,770 reports) and hi mum/family impersonation scams (9,307 reports).
What is an impersonation scam?
• An impersonation scam is where scammers pretend to be trusted businesses, friends or family to steal your money or personal information.
• Impersonation scammers can reach you on all mediums such as text message, websites, social media, email and phone calls.
• Scammers often pretend to be government officials, well-known companies, charities, celebrities, law enforcement or even family and friends.
Methods of impersonation
• Impersonation scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated and therefore harder to identify:
- Scammers can use technology to make their calls appear to come from a legitimate phone number.
- Their texts can appear in the same conversation thread as genuine messages from an organisation.
- Websites for legitimate organisations can be cloned to look like the real thing.
- Emails can be sent with fake sender addresses to appear to come from trusted sources.
- Social media profiles can be established using another person or an organisation’s details and images.
- Documents can be forged to make you think you’re dealing with a real person or business.
• Impersonation scammers may know or claim to know some information about you and use this to convince you they are legitimate.
How to avoid Impersonation scams
• Don’t automatically assume the person you are dealing with is who they say they are.
• Slow down and ask yourself “who’s really there?”
• Don’t click on links in text messages.
• Immediately cut contact with anyone who tries to threaten or intimidate you.
• Don’t open or download any attachments or apps if instructed as these can install malicious software on to your computer or phone giving access to your personal information, data, and accounts.
• Consumers are urged to ‘Stop, think, protect’.
- Stop - Don’t give money or personal information to anyone if unsure.
- Think - Ask yourself could the message or call be fake?
- Protect - Act quickly if something feels wrong.
• Contact your bank or card provider immediately to report the scam. Ask them to stop any transactions.
• IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support service.
They can help you make a plan (for free) to limit the damage. Call them on 1800 595 160 or visit their website to find out more.
• If a scam is causing you problems with debt talk to a financial counsellor. Moneysmart provides a list of free and confidential services to help you get your finances back on track.
• Being scammed is a horrible experience and it can happen to anyone. If you need someone to talk to, reach out to family and friends or you can contact Lifeline (13 11 14) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636).
• Tell your friends and family of your experience to protect them from becoming a victim.
Community First Credit Union LimitedABN 80 087 649 938 | Operating as Community First Bank | AFSL and Australian credit licence 231204| BSB 512-170