#datingscams | Commander’s Desk | Scammers can be very convincing, so be on your guard | Goulburn Post


Not less than an hour ago (3.30pm on Monday, November 11) I received a call on my work mobile phone from a ‘No Caller ID’. The caller claimed to be from a Visa and Mastercard provider. She quickly launched into a story that my Visa card had been used at 4am, via the internet, by a person in New Zealand, to purchase up to $1000 worth of items. I did not provide details and stated I would call my own bank to clarify the alleged transactions. She stated that she needed me to confirm that I didn’t authorise the transactions and that she was about to send me a document that I had to complete and return so that they could cancel the transfer of money from my account. I probed more which caused her to send me to another person, claiming this was her supervisor. READ ALSO: Scamwatch: Threat-based scams targeting young people and Chinese community This person again tried to confirm the alleged fraud of my account, would not provide details of the transactions and again wanted to send me a document that had to be completed and returned. I thanked her for her time, asked her for her name and phone contact details and that I would ring back once I had contacted my bank. She refused to give me any details and stated “we can’t stop the money coming out of your account then” before hanging up. A TOTAL SCAM!!! I did, of course, contact my bank. They confirmed that no transactions had occurred or were pending. READ ALSO: Trial begins for man charged with offences against children Further security checks were made on my account and I was satisfied that the fraudsters had failed to strip me of any funds. The thing is, these people were really very good at what they do. I was initially very concerned that I had been a victim of fraud on the internet. They were quite convincing, using all the “lingo” and structure that you would normally expect from a legitimate institution. With the advances in electronic communication, criminals don’t necessarily need to be face to face to steal from you. Scams are constantly evolving and scammers can go to great lengths to cause people to part with money or information. Scammers may pretend to be from your bank or a service provider, offer sports betting or short term investment opportunities. They can claim the ability to return owed monies from overseas, often romance and dating opportunities plus numerous other approaches. On the surface these may appear to be genuine. Here are some simple steps to help protect yourself against scammers. NEVER send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know and trust. ALWAYS seek independent financial and/or legal advice before making any investment or purchasing decisions. NEVER rely solely on advice from the person trying to sell you the service or investment. DON’T be pressured into signing or paying up front. ALWAYS research a company or service provider prior to paying or agreeing to a contract. ALWAYS read any contract or service paperwork carefully prior to paying for any work. NEVER give your personal or bank account details to people you don’t know and trust. ALWAYS contact your bank, financial institution or service provider if you have been contacted by a scammer. DON’T use the numbers provided on the email to confirm an email’s legitimacy before replying. DON’T be fooled by an email that looks legitimate or appears to link to a genuine website. DON’T open suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam) – ignore them. ALWAYS beware of ‘Cold Calling’ and confirm who you are actually talking to.


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