Our 10 top tips for staying safe from scammers

Staying safe from scams sounds simple enough, but it can be easy to forget just how important it is to pay attention to every detail of your finances – and who has access to them! 


It is Scam Awareness week and because we are big advocates for staying safe and protecting your finances, we have collated our top 10 ten tips for recognising and staying away from scams: 

  1. If you are unsure about making a payment, either over the phone or online, you should stop and give us as call. We love to help and can review the information and situation to make sure it’s not a scam before you transfer any funds.  

  1. The last thing you might think about when we start talking about financial scams is puppies. But some scammers like to take advantage of our love for these adorable animals. Always visit the seller and meet the puppy before you hand over any money!  

  1. If your phone has stopped working, consider whether your phone number may have been ported (stolen). This is a key indicator of identity theft and so, you should give us a call and let us know – we can help make sure no funds are transferred out of your account! 

  1. If you are paying a large invoice, or if there has been a change (no matter how small) to a regular invoice, always verify the information by calling the business directly before transferring the funds.  

  1. If you are purchasing an item or product through Facebook Marketplace, make sure you only do so after meeting the seller and physically seeing what you are purchasing. And remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is! 

  1. A common scam is when someone impersonates a government agency and tells you that you are required to make an urgent payment. But it is important to remember that any legitimate government organization will not threaten to arrest you or charge a fine without providing written documentation. So if you receive a phone call of a coercive nature, simply hang up and rest easy knowing: 

  • The ATO will not seek an arrest warrant for you based on a single phone call. 

  • The ADF does not require your money to repatriate soldiers. 

  • The AFP does not require access to your bank account to pursue fraudsters. 

  1. Pay attention to where you are transferring your money! Certain types of scams, particularly investment scams, will result in funds being transferred overseas. Check out the BSB information and give the holder a call, or Google the BPAY biller. And as always – if you’re not quite sure, give us a call. We love to help.  

  1. Speaking of investment scams, companies offering financial services within Australia must have an umbrella Australian Financial Services License, or AFSL. You should always check the ASIC website to search current licensees if you are thinking of investing: https://asic.gov.au/online-services/search-asics-registers/professional-registers/ 

  1. If you are buying something over the phone or online, and the seller asks for proof of identity in the form of a license or passport – stop. Scammers often ask for this to obtain personal information. Before you provide this information, you should ask yourself why they are asking for this and confirm they are legitimate. Always err on the side of caution, and if you think they are a scammer – report them.  

  1. When you’re falling in love, the last thing you want to think about is whether they're in it for the right reasons. But sometimes your online matches are scammers who are looking to take advantage of you – beware of the information you provide online or over the phone, especially to someone you have never met before.  

And don’t forget, if you’re worried about anything at all – give us a call.  

We’re always happy to help. 

 

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