Fraud, cybercrimes and scams can have a lasting effect.
People of all ages, backgrounds and social standing can be victims of a scam.
Some scammers will target people who are experiencing financial difficulties or personal issues. A lot of cold-callers will target the elderly.
Romance scammers will work to establish a relationship with you and gain your trust.
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed
Stop sending money and stop all communication immediately.
Talk to the police even if you feel embarrassed. You are not the only person to have fallen victim to a scam.
Contact your financial institution and let them know what’s happened.
You should also think about changing your email and social media accounts, usernames, passwords and even your phone number.
Unfortunately, in some circumstances, you may not be able to get your money back.
Protecting yourself against scammers
If you have been scammed before, there is a real threat of repeated approaches from other scammers.
It’s important to remember:
- never to give out your personal details or passwords online
- don’t accept or contact requests from people you either don’t know or don’t have mutual friends with
- increase the privacy settings on all of your professional and personal social media accounts
- limit the information you post online including photos or documents
- never click on suspicious images or links in emails or text messages
- always check with the government agency if they contact you out of the blue
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Who to contact
If you believe you’ve been a victim of a cybercrime or identity theft, there are different organisations who can help you.
ACORN is a national online system that allows the public to securely report instances of cybercrime. They also provide information on how to recognise and avoid common forms of cybercrime, and what to do if you have fallen victim.
IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support service. IDCARE helps people reduce the harm they experience when their identity information has been stolen.
Scamwatch is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.
The South Australia Police have a lot of information about scams and cybercrime. You can always contact them if you believe you have been the victim of a scam.
Australia's eSafety Commissioner advocates for safe experiences online. Their website includes useful information to help Australians have safe, enjoyable experiences online.