Don’t fall for a SCAM
THIS week’s column from Senior Constable Mark Kennedy is familiar to many in the district - that of SCAMS - people who deliberately set out to rob us of our money in one way or another.
Many of these scams are by phone calls - Sen. Const. Kennedy describes the many and varied ways these scams have taken off and how to be aware of them.
Scams are designed to trick you into giving away your money or your personal details.
Scams come to you in many forms; by mail, email, telephone, over the internet and door-to- door.
There are several methods scammers use to steal your money or personal details.
REMEMBER: if it sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam.
Most scams need you to do something before they can work, like providing your personal information or sending money... DON’T RESPOND. Great promises: Scammers try to suck you in by promising things like great prizes, true love or easy money. Before scammers deliver anything, they will ask you to send money or give them your bank account, credit card numbers or other personal details.
They never deliver what you expect and always rip you off.
Requests for your personal details:
Scammers pretend to be legitimate banks or businesses.
They approach you out of the blue with leaflets, letters, emails, websites or phone calls with requests that seem like the real thing.
They will give a reason as to why you need to provide them with your personal details, like your credit card/bank account number and/or passwords etc. Genuine organisations don’t usually make such unsolicited requests.
If you provide your personal details they could steal your money and your identity could be stolen.
A scam succeeds because it looks like the real thing.
There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes – the only people who get rich are the scammers.
DON’T respond to offers, deals or requests for your details. Stop and take time to independently check the offer.
DON’T rely on glowing testimonials: find solid evidence from independent sources (not those provided with the offer).
ALWAYS type in the address of a website of a bank, business or authority on the internet rather than opening a link as it’s safer.
ALWAYS look up phone numbers in an independent directory, when you wish to check if a request or offer is genuine.
NEVER click on a link provided in an unsolicited email as it will probably lead to a fake website designed to trap you.
NEVER use phone numbers provided with unsolicited requests or offers as they probably connect you to fakes who will try to trap you with lies.
NEVER respond to out of the blue requests for your personal details. Facts about scams: Scammers are criminals. They act illegally and can contact you from anywhere in the world.
Fake websites can easily be set up to look like the real thing, including bank and/or government logos.
They wouldn’t be telling their secrets to you.
Some scammers target large numbers of people for small amounts of money.
It all adds up to a lot if they succeed.
Some scams try to steal your personal information to sell or get more than just your money.
Fight the scammers, and don’t respond.
Next week’s article will target the issue with door to door scams, and how to reduce becoming a victim!
... with Senior Constable Mark Kennedy, Crime Prevention Officer for Victoria Police Benalla