Protecting Your Wealth From Scams
With financial scams on the rise, how can you identify them and protect yourself? Bridges, our financial planning partner, explains how scams work.
Beware of banking scams
One of the most common methods for scammers is known as phishing and involves the scammer duping the unsuspecting victim into handing over personal account information. A typical example is receiving an email, text message, or phone call from someone claiming to be from your bank. They seek to lower your defences by saying there is a problem with your account and ask you to give them your account details or click on a link to remedy the situation. This information can then be used to steal money from your account.
Bank card skimming
This involves your credit or debit card being read by an electronic device, which can be handheld or covertly installed on an ATM. The skimmer reads the magnetic strip on your card and electronically captures information, which can then be used to access your account.
Investment scams often come in the form of a phone call, an email, or through social media. Telltale signs include the lure of high, quick returns, or tax-free benefits. They may also claim to have no risk with the option to sell at any time, get a refund, or swap one investment for another.
If it sounds too good to be true...
...it probably is. So, do your research and ask questions to gain some verifiable information. Find out the name of the company, the address, who owns it, and what their Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) number is. If they try to avoid answering these questions, it is probably a scam.
If you have any inkling of suspicion, do not engage with the person any further. Hang up the phone, ignore emails, and block them on social media. You can also report any suspicious activity on the ACCC Scamwatch website.