Scams occur in lots of different ways: phone calls, emails, text messages, and in person. Some scammers pretend to be from a legitimate organisation like Telstra, or a government department, like Immigration or the Tax Office, and ask you to confirm your details, pay an overdue bill, or get access to a new scheme that will save you money. Some scammers will ring asking if you can hear them to get a recording of your voice saying “yes” to be able to access your accounts through voice recognition online banking. Some scams are embedded in known fraudulent practices, like buying a doctor’s certificate online, or having an essay written for you.

If someone calls you, give no personal information. A legitimate caller would already have whatever information they need. You could also ask their name and where they are from, then look up the number yourself, and call them back. Don’t call them on the number they give you – sophisticated scammers will have set up a false number for you to call back.

Scamming in person can be quite sophisticated. One known scam is where someone pretends to fall over, and picks the pocket of the person who helps them. This scam is particularly despicable in the way that it discourages people to help each other.

If you think you have been scammed, or if you’re not sure if something is legitimate you can talk to an SRC caseworker or go to: www.scamwatch.gov.au.