Every year, more than 200,000 scams are reported to Scamwatch. With scammers continually evolving their tactics to keep abreast with the latest trends, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest scam types in order to protect yourself, your family and your friends from potentially falling victim to a scam.
Tip: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Here are some common scam types to look out for over the holidays.
Parcel delivery scams
With so many of us expecting parcel delivery at Christmas, you may receive SMS and email notifications advising that packages have been delivered or are ready to be collected.
Watch out for unsolicited messages that ask you to input any personal information or request a payment.
Online shopping scams
Everyone loves a bargain, especially at Christmas time! Be wary of websites where the prices of items are unusually low, or where upfront payments are requested outside the normal payment channels (e.g. via money order or gift cards).
Be careful when making purchases through social media marketplaces, as there are generally no consumer protections for these.
Holiday accommodation scams
With many of us yearning for a break over Christmas, especially after the year we’ve had, beware of holiday scams when booking your next holiday. These can involve “too good to be true” discounts on accommodation with upfront deposits or for properties that aren’t actually available for rent.
Flight booking scams
Scammers set up fake websites that appear legitimate to make you believe you’re purchasing genuine flight tickets.
Always buy your tickets from reputable websites or from the airline directly.
Christmas is a time for giving, and many legitimate charities run donation campaigns during the festive season. Many scammers use this time of giving to convince people to donate to their non-existent charity.
If you ever doubt of the legitimacy of a charity, contact them directly after verifying their details with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Charity Register.
Gear up with extra security
Your personal information makes up your identity. That’s why it’s critical to never share your banking details, passwords or PINs with anyone, not even the CommBank.
For more tips to stay safe online, visit https://www.scamwatch.gov.au