We know many Australians are concerned about the rising cost of living – trying to find new ways to cope and manage finances.

You might be thinking about reducing your living expenses, exploring budgeting tips, or seeking out financial advice.

You could also be trying to find new ways to boost your income – selling those old pieces of furniture or clothing online, taking on an extra job, or trying your hand at investing.   

But while you’re thinking about how to adapt to the cost-of-living crisis, so are scammers.

Here are some scams to keep a lookout for and tips on how to deal with them, so you can avoid falling victim.

Investment and financial advice scams

If you’re thinking about investing or getting financial advice, beware of scammers posing as financial advisors, offering to assist you in investing money or managing your finances.

Signs of a financial advice/investment scam include:

  • Unsolicited calls, texts or emails offering financial advice
  • The promise of high returns on investments or exclusive knowledge of the markets
  • Throwing facts, figures and projections at you to make an investment seem too good to miss out on
  • Asking for personal information, such as your banking details or credit card details

Make sure you do your research and check their credentials before engaging with any financial advisors or making any investments. Don’t give out any personal information such as your banking details or credit card details – legitimate financial advisors will never ask for this information over the phone or online.

Online shopping/PayID scams

If you’re selling unwanted items online, beware of ‘potential buyers’ behaving suspiciously and insisting on PayID as a form of payment.

Signs of a PayID scam include:

  • You’re contacted by someone claiming they’re unable to pick the item up themselves and will have a family member do so on their behalf
  • You’re asked to receive payment via PayID, but also asked for your email address or other irrelevant contact information
  • You receive an email claiming to be from PayID advising you have been paid, but no money appears in your bank account
  • You’re asked to pay money to settle an overpayment or to “unlock” or “upgrade” your account

Remember, PayID will never contact you directly. If you spot any of these signs, don’t send any money, and report the scammer. Cash payments, or PayID transfers in person, can help keep you safe.

Job scams

If you’re checking out job sites in the hope of finding a new work opportunity, beware of job adverts that promise quick and easy money.

Signs of a job scam include:

  • No experience is required and the hiring process is very quick
  • You may be told to secure the job, you must make an initial investment or pay for resources
  • You’re offered money or incentives for transferring funds using your personal accounts
  • You're asked to sign up to cryptocurrency platforms or provide your online banking details

It's highly unlikely a legitimate company would require you to make an advance payment to secure a job. Always research the company, check with friends and family, and stay cautious. If something appears too good to be true, it most likely is.


Looking for ways to help you offset the cost of living? Discover a range of tools, tips and guidance articles to help you with the everyday cost of living.

Things you should know

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. You should consider seeking financial advice before making any decision based on this information.