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The Scam watch web site

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The Scamwatch website provides information on common scams that you should look out for.

Learn how to recognise and protect yourself from the following scams:

Online scams 
Many online scams take place without the victim even noticing. It is only when your credit card statement or phone bill arrives that you realise you might have been scammed.

  • Auction and online shopping scamsOnline auctions can be rigged by scammers or used to target you for a scam outside of the auction site. You could end up with a useless product or nothing at all for your money.

Banking and online account scamsBanking scams like phishing, phone fraud, credit card fraud and card skimming scams aim to steal your account information and your money. Many of these scams can look and sound like the real thing, but there are ways of picking up on the warning signs to protect yourself.

Mobile phone scams
Scams that come to you on your mobile; like ring tone, missed calls or text messages, SMS competition and trivia scams can be difficult to recognise. If you receive a missed call or text message from an unknown number, the best thing to do is to delete the message or ignore the call.

Identity theft scams
Identity theft is a type of fraud which involves stealing money or gaining other benefits by pretending to be someone else. Having your identity stolen can be both financially and emotionally devastating.

Personalised scams
Personalised scams occur when scammers gather your personal information and use it to specifically target you with a scam. These scams have become more common due to the increasing popularity of the online environment.

  • Door to door and home maintenance scams 
    Door-to-door scams involve promoting goods or services that are not delivered or are of poor quality. 
  • Classifieds scams
    Classifieds scams can target both buyers and sellers who use online and print classified advertisements.
  • Social networking scams 
    Social networking websites allow you to create your own profile to connect with your friends and other online users. Scammers also use social networking sites to steal personal information and trick people out of their money.
  • Dating and romance scams
    Dating and romance scams try to lower your defences by appealing to your compassionate side. Scammers play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.
  • Charity scams
    Charity scams play on your generosity and involve a scammer posing as a genuine charity to fraudulently collect money.

Lottery and competition scams (fake prizes) 
Lottery and competition scams can be delivered in many ways - in person, over the telephone, through the post or by email. Scammers tell you that you´ve won something substantial and that all you have to do is send them money to claim the prize.

Chain letters and pyramid scams 
People who become involved in chain letter and pyramid scams can only make money by scamming other people. The scams are often promoted by people you know and trust, but who may not realise that they are taking part in an illegal scam.

Investment scams (get-rich-quick) 
Investment scams can come in many forms from cold calling, investment seminars and real estate scams, sports investment scams and superannuation scams. When you take part in an investment scam, you can lose a lot of money and may end up in considerable debt.

Money transfer requests ('Nigerian' scams) 
There are a number of scams that try to trick you into sending your money to overseas scammers including inheritance scams. These include: ´Nigerian´ scams, up-front payment scams, transferring money for someone else and cheque overpayment scams.

Health and medical scams 
Health and medical scams include miracle cures, weight loss scams and fake online pharmacies. The scammers make money by exploiting people who have a medical condition or who are worried about their health.

Job and employment scams 
Job and employment scams target people looking for jobs by promising a large income for little work.

Small business scams 
Scams that target small business include false billing for advertising or directory listings, fax back scams and office supply scams.

Other scamsCheck the SCAMwatch radar for the latest scams. Also check the current consumer alerts section of our website.

Last changed: Jul 09 2013 at 10:15 AM

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