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8 Tips to Avoid Being Scammed Online or Over the Phone

8 Tips to Avoid Being Scammed Online or Over the Phone

By: Ally Barnes 

Multiple fake Facebook profiles using images of a breakfast radio duos across the country were set up recently, in an attempt to scam radio audiences.

After the scam attacks, Andrew Legge from Servant IT shared some tips and tricks to avoid hackers.

Andrew said “scammers are after your money, and they’ll try to get it directly or indirectly. They’ll tell you that you need to pay for something, or plant software on your computer which will, in one way or another, give them more opportunities to try to get money from you”.

“Their approach is almost always the same: put fear or doubt (and often urgency) into the equation so that you trust them to help you,” Andrew said.

“The cleverest scammers will almost always say they’re from a company with a large market share in their industry, like Telstra, Australia Post, Energy Australia, Microsoft or one of the big four banks.”

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

8 Tips to Avoid Being Scammed

  • NEVER share your name, address or ANY personal information of any kind with any source which seems even mildly suspect, or which reminds you of the old saying, “If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is”.
  • Hang up if there are a few-seconds delay at the start of the call. If it’s actually someone you know calling you from overseas, they’ll probably call straight back, at which point at least wait to hear their voice before you decide whether or not to hang up again.
  • NEVER give anyone access to your computer or phone remotely unless you have a prior, trusted relationship with them.
  • NO ONE, not even Microsoft or Apple, have a clue what you’re doing on your PC or whether or not your computer is infected. If someone calls/emails to say that your computer is struggling or infected, even if you think they’re right, treat them as 100 per cent bogus.
  • NEVER try to unsubscribe from SPAM emails! All that does is say to them, “Hey, this email is actively monitored and you can keep sending emails to me”, which they will often do in large quantities.
  • If an email says it’s from a trusted company or person but something seems a little off, hover your mouse cursor over the sender’s email address. If it’s from a different domain (the bit after the @), it might be bogus. If it’s also employing tactics of fear, confusion, doubt or urgency, it’s almost-certainly SPAM.
  • Don’t be afraid to send a suss email to SPAM or hang up on a caller who is setting off your spidey senses. In the latter case, firmly say to anyone you suspect as a phone scammer, “I know you’re a scammer, stop wasting my time!” then hang up on them. It’s abrupt and borderline rude, but it works and they’ll often get the message. If they happen to be legit or perhaps a super-persistent scammer, they’ll call back.
  • If you are on a call you think is a SCAM, don’t say the word “Yes”, but instead say, “Alright” or “That’s correct”. This is a bit more obscure, but there have been scammers out there who record you saying “yes” and then use it to verify your identity over the phone so they can open bogus bank accounts in your name for money laundering purposes.

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

About the Author: Ally Barnes is a content creator and media professional in Sydney, Australia.

Feature image: Photo by Pickawood on Unsplash  

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