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Many of us know or have heard of someone getting scammed and unfortunately, scams are more prevalent at this time of year.

How does it happen, you ask? These scammers trick you into giving out personal information by pretending to be from legitimate businesses or even the Australian Tax Office. They tend to contact you by email, social media, phone call or text.

Calls can come from real people who promise great deals via a fake website where your personal information is collected and compromised.

Emails can appear to be sent from legitimate organisations that again link to fake websites that request personal information, compromising your financial information.

Text messages requesting passwords or financial information can also appear to come from reputable organisations like the ATO.

To protect yourself, a simple rule of thumb is to never click on any links in suspicious emails, texts, or social media.

A few tips on what to look out for this Christmas:

  • Fake items for sale – especially on Facebook or Gumtree
  • Online orders promising delivery by Christmas
  • Scam emails or texts with links to “Track Your Parcel”
     

Never give out your personal, credit card or online account details. Instead, always do a quick check by asking their name and contact number, then make an independent check before calling back.

Leading up to the Christmas Holidays with COVID-19 Travel restrictions easing for interstate and international travel, keep an eye out for:

  • Fake Airbnb’s
  • Fake Visa’s
  • Travel offers that are too good to be true
  • Vaccine passport’s
  • COVID-19 support payments

Hume Bank will never ask you to supply complete card information over the phone.

Case Study

Bryan wanted to purchase an iPad as a Christmas present for his grandson, James. Bryan found one on Facebook
Marketplace and considered it to be a great deal – perhaps too good to be true. Given the interest in the item, Bryan
wanted to act fast in an attempt to secure the iPad for James. After Bryan had registered his interest to the seller, the seller requested Bryan to make payment as soon as possible via PayPal to secure the item, otherwise they would have to accept an offer from another interested buyer. Bryan made the transfer, and soon after arranged to pick up the iPad from the address provided to him by the seller. After travelling to the address, Bryan arrived and found there to be no house, and instead a vacant block with no sign of development what-so-ever. Bryan then attempted to contact the seller, who since blocked Bryan on Facebook and removed the ad. Unfortunately, Bryan was not able to recover the funds.

Staying scam safe webinar

If you missed our ‘Staying scam safe’ webinars, they will be available shortly on our website. A collaborative initiative between Hume Bank and WAW, supported by various regional councils, our webinar was part of Scam Awareness Week. It covered all aspects of how these scams happen to all sorts of unsuspecting people.