Beware, it's a scam: be alert this Christmas

Every year, thousands of Australians are targeted by scams, whether it be online, via phone, mail or even in person.

The Lakes Mail has compiled a list of current scams identified on scamwatch.gov.au, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's website dedicated to informing people about fraudulent and dishonest activities:

NBN

  • Someone pretending to be from NBN Co or an internet provider calls a victim and claims there is a problem with their phone or internet connection, which requires remote access to fix. The scammer can then install malware or steal valuable personal information, including banking details.
  • Scammers pretending to be the NBN attempting to sell NBN services, often at a discount, or equipment to you over the phone.
  • Scammers may also call or visit people at their homes to sign them up to the NBN, get them a better deal or test the speed of their connection. They may ask people to provide personal details such as their name, address, date of birth, and Medicare number or ask for payment through gift cards.
  • Scammers calling you during a blackout offering you the ability to stay connected during a blackout for an extra fee.

Online shopping

  • Fake websites/stores: scammers will set up fake online stores, on websites or social media, which can look like genuine online retailers. Many of these offer luxury items at very low prices but you may receive a fake item or nothing at all.
  • Fake sellers: scammers may pose as genuine sellers on classifieds websites. The scammer may claim they are travelling and an agent will deliver the goods once you have paid, but you won't receive the goods and will be unable to contact the seller.

ATO impersonation

  • The scammer pretends to be from the Australian Taxation Office and claims there is a warrant for their victim's arrest. Asks the victim to pay an immediate 'fine' using gift cards or bitcoin.