ACCC Issues Warnings Over National Consumer Fraud Week Launch on the Dangers of Entering Personal Details Online
Australia (News4us.com) March 08, 2011
Consumers should be aware of the dangers of putting their personal details online with reports of scam activity doubling over the past year, said Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury at the launch of National Consumer Fraud Week.
“As we begin our sixth National Consumer Fraud Week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its Scams Activity Report 2010, which shows that the consumer watchdog received more than 42,000 reports of scams last year – more than double the number of reports received in 2009,” said Mr Bradbury.
“Consumers need to arm themselves with information to avoid being conned by scam artists.
“At a time when the use of social media has exploded, more people are being targeted by scammers who are using personal information that is freely available on the Internet.
“Make sure you think carefully before publishing your personal information on websites like Facebook and Twitter – these sites can be goldmines for scammers who can then use that information to target you.
“Scammers are also becoming increasingly tech-savvy and organised. The ACCC report found that a large number of scams used cheap Internet telephone services to make calls to vulnerable people, impersonating banks and government agencies to fleece people of money.
“There are simple steps you can take to avoid being sucked in by a scam:
- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
- Never send your credit card or bank account details to anyone you don’t trust.
- Do not agree to offers or deals straight away: tell the person that you are not interested or that you want to get some independent advice before making a decision.
- Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: the only people who make money are the scammers.
“I’d like to acknowledge the work of the regulatory agencies, Government departments, and business partners like Microsoft, Cars Guide, Westpac and Facebook who make up the Australian Consumer Fraud Taskforce, which has been instrumental in raising consumer awareness of scams and fraud.
“If you think you may have been a victim of a scam, or if you want to keep informed of the latest scams, you can go to the SCAMwatch website at www.scamwatch.gov.au.”
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