Beware the latest scams

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) Scamwatch regularly publishes notices about the latest scams to try and part you with your hard-earned money.

The most recent doing the rounds includes one targeting the Chinese community that involve fake kidnappings and threats of arrest. To date 900 reports have been made about scams targeting the Chinese community and in total $1.5 million dollars have been lost. The scam is nationwide.

The ACCC says that “there are two main variations of this scam. First, speaking in Mandarin, a scammer will call directly or leave an ‘urgent’ voice message to call back. The scammer will impersonate a parcel delivery service and/or Chinese authorities and claim you are in serious trouble as they have intercepted a package addressed to you with fraudulent documents such as fake passports.

“The scammer will then threaten you with extradition to China to face criminal charges in court unless money is sent to them. They will claim this money is needed to prove your innocence while they investigate the supposed crime.”

Earlier in October, Scamwatch also ran the annual Stay Smart Online week, encouraging people, businesses and the community to protect themselves online.

This year they released a quick guide to help protect personal data. It provides details of how scammers can obtain your data and ways in which you can protect yourself. There are also links to check if your privacy has been compromised and how to get help if it’s needed.

Remember if something is too good to be true, it probably is a scam, so beware.