When you’ve worked long and hard to cultivate your wealth, it’s essential to be vigilant. You need to safeguard your assets from fraudsters who will do their best to scam you. Unfortunately, these malicious individuals have grown more creative and sophisticated, leveraging technology to trick people into giving their hard-earned money. They’ve used various ways, such as phishing emails and texts, online dating profiles, and hacking into your friends’ accounts to solicit money from you.
For these reasons, it is important to remain cautious. When receiving an offer that seems too good to be true, remember one thing: if you didn’t join in any contests or events, you probably didn’t win a prize. So, avoid giving away your personal information to just anyone.
As financial advisers, we want to protect you from these crimes, especially after investing in wealth management. Here are some of the current scams persisting in Australia and how to avoid them:
Phishing is a popular scam that uses social engineering to trick people into volunteering their personal information and account details to a fraudster. Usually, they’re posing as the victim’s bank, payment portal, or other kinds of services. These messages are either sent by SMS or email.
If you notice any suspicious messages, avoid clicking any links. The telltale sign of phishing scams is very noticeable. They pretend to be legitimate companies, like utility providers, telecommunications businesses, and financial institutions. Often, they ask you to input your bank account number, credit card details, PIN, password, and other information so they can use to steal your identity
The Remote Access Scam
This type of scam occurs when scammers call you, pretending to be from a telecommunications company or your financial institution. They will request remote access to your device to carry out off-site maintenance. Once they’ve gained remote access, they’ll ask you to log into your online banking account, and they’ll steal your credentials and funds.
Never, under any circumstances, allow remote access to your device without verifying that it is a legitimate request from any company. You can also verify the request by contacting the company separately.
Advanced Fee Scam
As implied by the name, this scam involves a fraudster offering you a portion of a large sum of money they want to transfer to an overseas bank account. They’ll ask you to send them funds so they can complete the transfer. They’ll claim that the money is caught in central banks in areas of conflict like civil wars or coups, typically countries that appear in the news. The scammer will then take the money and cut off contact with you. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid this scam by refusing to engage with such individuals. As the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it definitely is.
This type of scam is one of the easiest to identify. It is often an email or letter from a foreign lottery or sweepstakes company claiming that you have won a large sum of money in a lottery or competition you did not enter. These scams typically use the names of genuine overseas lotteries to appear legitimate. However, if you’ve never bought a ticket, you clearly didn’t win anything, making this an obvious scam.
Money Mule Scam
A money mule scam involves a scammer sending money to you then asking you to send it to someone else using a gift card or wire transfer. Sometimes, this process is veiled as a work-from-home opportunity. However, it is a disguise for money laundering or attempts at stealing identities.
Emergency Response Scam
Crowdsourcing funds for emergencies, like COVID-19 or bushfire relief, has grown more common over the last few years. However, unscrupulous individuals have taken this opportunity to piggyback off such donations. Be sure to research the parties asking for donations for a cause to ensure your money goes to the intended recipient.
The Online Dating Scam
In an online dating scam, the fraudster will create a fake profile and foster a relationship with you over many months. They’ll eventually ask you for money to help treat a sick relative, assist with humanitarian activities or any other reason that will compel you to help them. They may even ask you to pay for their ticket to visit Australia and meet you in person.
The most common sign of an online dating scam is being asked to send money to an overseas account, typically in a name other than the person you are dating. If you believe you are being scammed, do not hesitate to stop all communications. You can also report your experience to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.
Always Be Vigilant, Talk to the Experts for Sound Financial Advice!
Keeping a vigilant eye and consulting your financial advisers will help you steer clear of scams. By being wary of the official communication you receive and being prudent in giving your personal information, you can safeguard your money and avoid getting scammed.
Coastal Advice Group is a team of financial consultants offering various services, such as estate planning, financial advice, aged care financial planning, and more. We cater to all stages of life, from young professionals, retirement to elderly care. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!