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The Slickest Scams of 2019

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I must have been on some random list to keep getting the foreign call centre calls from the supposed ATO – “you have a debt that must be paid immediately or we will……..”
My team in the office were concerned to hear me raise my voice down the phone line saying; “I don’t know how you sleep at night doing such a disgusting thing to try and cheat people like you are – you should be embarrassed and your mother would be appalled at your behaviour!”
Doubt I had much impact as they hung up immediately, but what a pest these people are!  For some, they are not just a pest, they cause serious financial woes.   
So what were the biggest and nastiest scams of 2019?
Online shopping – While the convenience of online shopping makes it very attractive, fake shops are being set up with very elaborate websites, running ads to them from social media often selling usually expensive items at very cheap prices. How to check whether a site or online shop is real – Google search their customer reviews – it will generally tell you immediately if something is a scam.
Fake jobs that allow you to work from home – and how convenient? Just send us your bank account and personal details and we will pay you immediately for very little work done. Next thing your identity has been stolen and what little you did have has been taken. Always confirm if a job is with a real company, check ABN lookup, check their website and then phone a landline if possible.
Family emergencies – just when you think people could never go this low, some scammers are pretending to be members of your social network who find themselves in trouble and ask you to quickly send them money overseas as they need money for hospital care or are wrongly accused of something and are in jail. Even my children know it would be a personal phone call and a lot of grovelling to get anything from me while they are away. And if someone was in the hospital, the hospitals do not ask you to first up send money – ever!
Technical support – these are pop-ups that occur when you might even have been looking for computer help so are really deceptive. Their aim is to have you buy their dodgy software which is really spyware in disguise, giving them unfettered access to all your details. Particularly when you feel out of your depth in IT and everything seems to be going wrong, these people even offer phone support. Don’t be tempted to use anyone who offers their help to you – find your own.
Romantic cons – these can take months of work while they seduce you with many phone calls and divinely written emails (and that is a serious clue right there).  They start asking for money – although they really have plenty, it just can’t be accessed yet. Oh Really?? I can only hope there is a special place in hell for those who abuse someone’s trust like this.
However, how to check if someone is real?  Do a reverse image search on Google to see what or who turns up. Watch out for their personal story elements that are not consistent – it is really difficult to remember when you keep telling lies and share the story of this new love interest with a friend who might see issues where you do not.
And of course, if it sounds too good to be true, it always is!!
The website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is a fantastic resource for checking on scams. And if you know of any, please share them with us so we can all avoid them.
https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/get-help/protect-yourself-from-scams


If you would like to discuss your situation, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0412 709 200 or book a time to chat via calendly.com/louise
With thanks,