While there are hundreds of scams out there and scammers are constantly evolving their tactics, there are some core traits that almost all scams include. If you can spot these then you’re well on your way to keeping yourself safe.
Scams often begin with someone contacting you out of the blue. This could be a phone call, email, text message, or even someone knocking on your front door.
With any unsolicited contact, it’s important to verify that the person is who they say they are:
Scams will often promise high returns with low risk for very little financial commitment. All investments involve some degree of risk and if a deal sounds too good to be true, it’s very likely that it is.
Fraudsters will often try to create a sense of urgency to force you to make a decision without taking the time to consider it.
If anyone is pressuring you to make a decision, whether that’s a potential scammer or just a pushy salesman, it’s smart to walk away and give yourself space to think the decision over.
Scammers often try to isolate their victims from their family and friends to take them away from their support network.
If you’re asked to keep quiet about an opportunity that has been presented to you, or about someone you are talking to online, then it could be a red flag that everything is not as it should be.
A large number of frauds involve victims being asked to pay a fee to unlock a greater reward – an inheritance, a lottery win or a free holiday. In scams targeting classifieds sellers, scammers often over-pay for an item and then ask for a small refund.
In both of these cases, any money that is paid is likely to be lost. If you have already sent the item then it’s likely this will be lost too.
No legitimate business or seller will ask you to pay an upfront fee to receive a prize or to sell something that you own.
Whether you’re trying to sell a phone through Gumtree, or think you may have met the love of your life through an online dating site , if someone won’t meet in person it may mean they aren’t who they say they are.
Never send money to anyone that you have only met on the internet and if you’re meeting someone for the first time then it’s a good idea to meet in a public place that has security cameras or take a friend with you.
Online scams often request payment in the form of direct money transfers, telegraphic transfer, pre-paid gift cards or cryptocurrency. These forms of payment are very difficult to trace and recall, which means that if they are used to send money to a scammer then it’s very unlikely that it will be recovered.
While scammers can be convincing, they are often easy to catch out if you verify their claims online:
If you have been targeted by a scam relating to your Qudos account, visit our webpage how to report fraud to find out who to contact.