Top 10 tips to protect yourself against scams
- Watch out for scams – scammers can target you anytime, anywhere, anyhow.
- Don’t respond – ignore suspicious emails, letters, house visits, phones calls or SMS messages – press ‘delete’, throw them out, shut the door or just hang up.
- Don’t agree to an offer straight away – do your research and seek independent advice if it involves significant money, time or commitment, and get the offer in writing.
- Ask yourself who you’re really dealing with – scammers pose as people or organisations that you know and trust.
- Don’t let scammers push your buttons – scammers will play on your emotions to get what they want, including adopting a personal touch.
- Keep your computer secure – always update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and only buy from a verified source.
- Only pay online using a secure payment service – look for a URL starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol.
- Never send money to someone you don’t know and trust – it’s rare to recover money from a scammer.
- Protect your identity – your personal details are private and invaluable; keep them that way and away from scammers.
- If you’ve spotted a scam, spread the word! – tell your family and friends, and if you’re in Australia report it to SCAMwatch.
For more information about scams, see our Hot Topic on Consumer Law.
Source: Hot Topics 83: Consumer law