Don’t become a statistic from scam artists
THE region’s residents can get equipped with skills to reject scammers at a presentation from 1.30pm on Tuesday, September 5 at the Salvation Army Hall, Victoria Street, Seymour.
There are many schemes by which malicious people seek to steal your money or your personal details.
They may make fraudulent approaches at the front door offering low-cost house repairs or ask for donations to fake charities, but nowadays scamming more frequently happens by telephone or Internet contact.
A report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), ‘Targeting Scams’, said that Australians had lost almost $300 million in 2016 – a sharp increase of 47 per cent (pc) compared to 2015.
The ACCC pointed out that many people don’t report scams and the actual loss is probably much higher.
Some 58pc of the reported scams are online computer related, but there seems no limit to the methods that criminals will use.
The ACCC indicates that romance scams report losses of over $25 million, with investment scams a close second at over $23 million.
Many scams such as, inheritance offers, telephone rebates, false charity appeals and others make up the balance.
The actual scamming techniques vary widely; sometimes attempts are made to appeal for direct transfer of funding, but more frequently personal identity and/or control of a computer is involved.
The schemes are effective and there is no doubt a large number of people fall into traps they did not expect.
It is important for all of us to be aware of how fraudsters operate and learn ways to avoid being ripped off.
A Victorian survey in 2016 found that 92pc of respondents had received a scam invitation and 18pc had fallen for a scam.
It also reported that Victorians aged 55 and over had lost more than $4.5 million to scams.
The Seymour and District U3A Melting Pot series is targeting scamming with a presentation by Michael D’Elia, regional manager, Consumer Affairs Victoria.
He has made a detailed study of this field and is well versed in the tricks used by scammers and the methods that can be adopted to avoid difficulties.
Michael D’Elia will speak broadly on internet scams, telephone scams and problems encountered when dealing with sales people either on the telephone or at your door, which are both seen as high pressure sales techniques.
He and the Department of Consumer Affairs hope to provide the community with the skills to avoid getting into an unwanted contract due to high pressure sales tactics or avoid making a mistake and giving someone money in what turns out to be a scam.
The meeting is open to everyone interested in this important community topic. Afternoon tea will follow. A gold coin donation is requested.