Protect yourself from scams with these tips

 Inspector Jacob Reeves, Officer in Charge, Young Sector. Photo: file
Inspector Jacob Reeves, Officer in Charge, Young Sector. Photo: file

The Hume Police District receive many reports of frauds and scams each month.

Awareness and prevention are important ways to stop yourself becoming a victim of a scam.

Scams 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.

Be alert and protect yourself from being scammed by following the tips provided by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission:

  • Be alert to the fact that scams exist.
  • 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 not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in 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 respond to phone calls about your computer asking for remote access - hang up - even if they mention a well-known company. Scammers will often ask you to turn on your computer to fix a problem or install a free upgrade, which is actually a virus which will give them your passwords and personal details.
  • Keep your personal details secure.
  • Keep your mobile devices and computers secure. Always use password protection.
  • Choose your passwords carefully. Choose passwords that would be difficult for others to guess and update them regularly.
  • Review your privacy and security settings on social media.
  • 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.
  • Be wary of unusual payment requests. Scammers will often ask you to use an unusual payment method, including preloaded debit cards, gift cards, or virtual currency.
  • 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.

The Australian Government website www.scamwatch.gov.au offers many useful tips and pieces of information on scams such as prevention, examples of current scams and how to report scams.