In fact, earlier this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released a report stating Australians lost a total of $489 million from scams in 2018 with the average personal loss being over $5,000*.
Wondering how you can protect yourself? Start by learning to spot the common signs of a scam. We’ve explained two below.
These are tricky to spot because you’ll usually be contacted (via text, email or a phone call) by what looks like a legitimate business. The scammer will ask you to verify info about yourself like your name, date of birth and credit card details – and they’ll usually give you a legitimate-sounding reason. For example, they might be a ‘phone company’ letting you you’ve won a free iPhone 11 Pro – but they need to verify your identity before they can send it to you. Or, they might pretend to be your bank and tell you there’s a problem with your account – but they need your log-in details to fix it.
Red flags to watch out for:
- Malicious links. Often phishing scams try to take you to a third-party website to collect your information, so if in doubt, it’s best to give the company a call and check the website is legitimate before providing any personal details. (If you haven’t dealt with the company before, be extra cautious!)
- Unusual URLs. Malicious websites are usually (not always) unsecured websites that start with http, not https, so make sure you have a quick look at the URL before proceeding on websites that ask for your personal information.
Online shopping scams
In Australia last year, over $3 million was stolen through online shopping scams*. If you see an ad for a 75% off Gucci loafer sale that looks too good to be true – it probably is! Online shopping scams are effective because they look just like advertisements that we see (and click on) every day.
Red flags to watch out for:
- Odd payment methods. Non-secure payment methods like cryptocurrencies or money orders can indicate something isn’t quite right.
- Missing padlocks. Most shopping websites have a padlock icon at the start of the URL. If the padlock isn’t there, it might be worth calling the shop and checking it’s legitimate.
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed
If some of this information is feeling familiar, and you think you’ve been scammed, act immediately.
What to do:
- If you’ve given money or payment details to scammers, call your bank as soon as possible.
- If you’ve given personal information, contact idcare.org.
- If you’ve given login details, contact the website and change your password.
- Want to know more about protecting yourself online? Head to scamwatch.gov.au.
We take care of your personal info
At CareSuper, we have specialist compliance officers, as well as super strict policies and procedures, to protect your privacy and make sure your personal details don’t get into the wrong hands.
It’s still important to keep your password secure and change it periodically (you can do this in MemberOnline), as well as log off when you’re finished accessing your online account.