Learn to protect yourself against scammers

Have you ever received a phone from someone who claims they are from the Australian Tax Office and are demanding immediate payment of a bill or you will go to jail?

Have you recently received a video message on Facebook Messenger from a friend asking if you are in a video?

Or have you had money skimmed from your bank account with no idea how the thieves gained access to that account?

These are just some of the many scams that seem to circulate throughout society on a daily basis.

And there is a good chance that you are someone, or know someone who has been caught out.

It is not surprising as scams become more sophisticated and target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels across Australia. Scams succeed because they look like the real thing and catch you off guard when you’re not expecting it.

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commision warns that scammers are getting smarter and taking advantage of new technology, new products or services and major events to create believable stories that will convince you to give them your money or personal details. 

It is little consolation to learn that you are not alone in falling victim to this devious behaviour. 

But there are steps to take to protect yourself. First and foremost be aware of the fact that scams exist. 

Other tips include:

- Know who you're dealing with - If you've only ever met someone online or are unsure of the legitimacy of a business, take some time to do a bit more research. Do a Google image search on photos or search the internet for others who may have had dealings with them.

- Don’t open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails – delete them

- Don't respond to phone calls about your computer asking for remote access – hang up 

- Keep your personal details secure

- Keep your mobile devices and computers secure

- Choose your passwords carefully

- Review your privacy and security settings on social media

- Beware of any requests for your details or money

- Be wary of unusual payment requests

- Be careful when shopping online

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