Don’t be­come a statis­tic from scam artists

Euroa Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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