NSW Fair Trading has issued a warning about slick scammers swindling consumers as national Scams Awareness Week kicks off today, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.
Mr Kean said Scamwatch received almost 33,000 reports of scammers in 2017 who approached consumers, impersonating government agencies or trusted businesses.
“I’m seriously concerned by reports of so many consumers being pressured or scared into giving money or personal information to imposters,” Mr Kean said.
“In fact, figures show almost one-third of all reported Australian scams occurred in NSW last year alone, totalling more than $1.38 million.”
Fair Trading works closely with its State and Territory counterparts to investigate any alleged scams, and regularly hosts awareness seminars in local communities to help educate consumers.
“I am absolutely committed to putting consumers first, and will continue to raise awareness about the tell-tale signs used by these cunning con artists.”
If you get an unexpected or threatening call or email from a suspected scammer, follow these tips:
· Verify the identity of the company through an online search, then get in touch with them separately to ask if they contacted you;
· Never send money, give your banking or credit card details or other personal information, by email or over the phone, to anyone you don’t know;
· Remember a government agency or trusted business will never ask you to pay them with gift cards, iTunes cards or wire transfers; and,
· Never give anyone remote access to your computer if they’ve contacted you out of the blue – whether through a phone call, pop up window or email.
Scams Awareness Week runs from 21–25 May. For more information about scams and to report a scam, visit www.scamwatch.gov.au/scamsweek2018
There are a number of consumer events for Scam Awareness Week, for more information, visit www.accc.gov.au