News

Australians lose $45 million to scams in 2015

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging the community not to send money or personal details to strangers after $45 million was reported lost to scams already this year and 45,000 complaints made.
THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging the community not to send money or personal details to strangers after $45 million was reported lost to scams already this year and 45,000 complaints made. Jen Tybell

AUSTRALIANS have lost $45 million to scams in the past six months, prompting a warning to consumers not to send money or personal details to strangers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also reported it received 45,000 complaints about scams in the first six months of this year.

Those scams ranged from online communications to those completed over the phone and by post.

ACCC deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard said scammers were becoming more sophisticated in their methods.

Often they succeeded because they "look like the real thing", she said.

Data from the commission showed dating and romance scams led to $10 million lost in the six months with "investment schemes" a close second on about $9.1 million.

Other common scams executed on Australians included inheritance scams, fleecing $3.5 million from victims, "Nigerian scams" at $2.3 million and betting schemes at $1.3 million.

Ms Rickard warned people to be vigilant in securing their information and in not giving it out.

Be alert to the fact that scams exist:

When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it's over the phone, by mail, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam. 

Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

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.

Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails - delete them: 

If unsure, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. 

Don't use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.

Keep your personal details secure: 

Put a lock on your mailbox and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing them out. 

Keep your passwords and PIN numbers in a safe place:

Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social media sites. 

Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.

Keep your mobile devices and computers secure. 

Always use password protection, don't share access with others (including remotely), update security software and back up content. 

Protect your WiFi network with a password and avoid using public computers or WiFi hotspots to access online banking or provide personal information.

Choose your passwords carefully:

Choose passwords that would be difficult for others to guess and update them regularly. 

A strong password should include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. 

Don't use the same password for every account/profile, and don't share your passwords with anyone:

Beware of any requests for your details or money. 

Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don't know or trust. 

Don't agree to transfer money or goods for someone else: money laundering is a criminal offence.

Be careful when shopping online:

Beware of offers that seem too good to be true, and always use an online shopping service that you know and trust.


Types of scams: 

The ACCC provides information on the, and collects and publishes data on these scam types.


Report a scam: 

If you think you've been scammed or know someone who has, report it to the ACCC using our report a scam page.

Get help: If you've been scammed, there are steps you can take straight away to reduce the damage and prevent further loss. 

Find out what you can do to protect yourself, your business or your loved ones from scams.

We also encourage you to sign up for our Scamwatch radar alerts to stay informed about the latest scams. You can also follow us on Scamwatch Twitter.

Topics:  accc scams scamwatch



Science Festival seriously awesome

CALLING everyone who wants to see, hear and be a part of something totally cool: this is where you need to be this March.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Is Brisbane the new arts and culture capital?

Check out GOMA's latest exhibition - it's all about hair! GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

THE rest of the world should be envious of this line-up!

Pricks: Boy suffers as 'about 20' needles uncovered

John Williams, 4, was pricked by a needle when he was playing at a parkland with his family at Barney Point.

News that a boy pricked himself with a used needle left many shocked

Where are the jobs? $30m Bowen Basin package under fire

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash and Federal MP Michelle Landry announced the $30 million Bowen Basin Jobs Package in Mackay on June 20, 2016.

Speed of jobs package delivery under fire

'Bad reputation': Fishermen furious over illegal $900K haul

BUSTED: Gladstone recreational fisherman Duncan Reilly spotted the two Vietnamese fishing vessels, believed to be used for illegally catching sea cucumbers, off our region's shore at the weekend.

Fishermen urge tougher penalties as tonnes of stock go to waste

Local Partners

'Bad reputation': Fishermen furious over illegal $900K haul

INVESTIGATORS have swept through two Vietnamese boats anchored off Gladstone's shore, believed to be involved in illegal fishing.


How Stay at Home Mum blogger Jody Allen struck it big

Jody Allen and Walt Collins will co-host the Seven Network's Stay at Home Mum television series from April.

Jody Allen's star continues to rise at incredible speed

Comedy with extra cheese

Paul Fenech is taking his TV series Fat Pizza on the road for a series of live shows.

Fat Pizza and Housos are coming to town

One of the top five car collections in the world

A 1950 Alvis TB14 Roadster is a highlight in the museum.

Gosford home to largest, privately-owned classic car collection.

Why Hollywood’s siding with Brad Pitt over Angelina Jolie

TOWARD the end of last month’s Golden Globes ceremony, the producer of the nominated drama Moonlight made a surprise onstage appearance: Brad Pitt.

'Unexpected': Young Gladstone dancer shocked by talent quest win

PROUD PERFORMER: Dancer Yasmine McGuiness couldn't wipe the smile off her face after winning the Fast Track Talent Quest.

DANCER Yasmine McGuiness stole the show in tonight's final

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

Things are really heating up on My Kitchen Rules.

Games are being played around the My Kitchen Rules table

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Stage is set for a good time at 2017's Harbour Festival

Remi Sayre performing at a past Gladstone Harbour Festival Talent Quest.

AN IMPRESSIVE lineup of entertainment is already coming together

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

New suburb in the crosshairs of Coast vandals

UNDER WRAPS: Graffiti on art installations at the entrance to the newly opened Bells Creek Arterial Road has been covered up.

Vandal rechristens Stockland as something less than complimentary

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!