Tasmania Police receive daily reports relating to scams circulating in the community.
Regular scams often involve scammers purporting to be from Centrelink, Australian Taxation Office, Australia Post, Telstra or law enforcement agencies. Police remind community members not to take everything they see on face value and to stop and think before you give out personal details, especially bank details over the phone or by email.
People often get caught out with email scams as they mostly appear to be from a legitimate business like the ATO, Telstra, Australia Post or major banking institutions. Phone and email scammers often target seniors and vulnerable people and use scare or intimidation tactics. Seniors are often seen as an easy target because they are generally more trusting.
Scammers are mostly from overseas and they cannot hurt you, however, they can be very convincing and intimidate or threaten people into acting immediately.
Other scams include unexpected winnings and inheritance, wanting remote access to your computer and asking for personal details, fake invoice scams using a legitimate business name with altered bank account details and fake charities asking for donations. Doing the rounds now are dodgy internet pop-ups claiming viruses are affecting your computer, fake online shopping websites.
If you have been tricked into sending money or money goes missing from your account, tell the bank as soon as possible, report the matter to police and tell a trusted family member or friend who can help support you. Some scammers tell you to purchase a gift or iTunes cards or prepaid credit cards. This is a sure sign you are being scammed.
Senior are often too embarrassed to tell anyone they are being scammed talk about scams with older relatives. More information is available on the Scamwatch or ACORN websites.