Last week (7-11 November 2022) was Scams Awareness Week, highlighting the importance of Queenslanders learning ways to identify scams and protect themselves from being the unwitting victims of sophisticated swindles.
This year’s theme is ‘How to spot a scam’. Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said scammers were constantly finding new ways to trick victims, with more and more people being targeted.
“Queenslanders have reported the highest amount of losses to fake charity scams than any other state or territory this year,” Ms Fentiman said.
“We know scammers are opportunistic following natural disasters such as the February floods – especially when it comes to donation scams.”
Legitimate charities are registered, and you can check out an organisation’s credentials at the Queensland Government Charity Register and the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission if you are concerned.
Claim farming is a scam
Motorists are reminded to remain alert to the potential of being approached through a claim farming scam – where scammers access your personal information and circumstances for their own gain.
Claim farming, also known as car crash scamming, is an illegal offence where scammers may imply they act on behalf of government agencies or insurers, and induce or harass individuals to make a claim with a promise of quick, easy and significant compensation or even offer to help with medical treatment or other services.
You can read more about this issue and how to work with MAIC to prevent it here.
Ms Fentiman said the most common way scammers targeted their victims was by phone, SMS and email. People are encouraged to reach out and share their stories or experiences to help raise awareness to prevent others from falling victim.
Know the signs of a scam:
- If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Messages and emails asking you to click on a link or open an attachment.
- Someone asking for your passwords or personal information such as banking details.
- A caller asking for remote access to your computer or phone.
- Requests for payment – scammers can often stress urgency in acting on the payment.
- Offers to make fast money with little to no risk.
To learn more, you can check the Scamwatch website to stay up-to-date on the latest information and tips. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. You can also report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page.