ACCC warns of scam­mers cir­cu­lat­ing for in­for­ma­tion on­line

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THIS Stay Smart On­line Week, the ACCC is warn­ing the com­mu­nity to watch out for com­mon on­line scams.

So far in 2017, the ACCC’s Scamwatch site has re­ceived more than 51,000 re­ports of scam­mers try­ing to con peo­ple on­line.

On­line scam losses to­tal nearly $37 mil­lion for the year, with peo­ple aged 45 to 54 most likely to lose money.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to spot a scam­mer on­line th­ese days as they go to great lengths to trick the pub­lic and steal per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and money,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.

The top three on­line scams are phish­ing, false billing, and buy­ing and sell­ing.

Ms Rickard said there were some sim­ple tech­niques mem­bers of the pub­lic could em­ploy to avoid be­ing stung by on­line scams.

“While scam­mers are of­ten af­ter your money, they’re also try­ing to steal your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, which is just as valu­able,” she said.

“It’s im­por­tant to safe­guard your per­sonal de­tails on­line the same way you would your wal­let.

“If you’re ever con­tacted out of the blue – par­tic­u­larly via email – by some­one ask­ing you to pay a bill, com­plete a sur­vey or up­date your pass­words, it pays to be scep­ti­cal.

“If it seems too good to be true, it prob­a­bly is.”

For more ad­vice, go to www.scamwatch.gov.au.

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