Presentation on theme: "Scams How can we help protect young Australians from scammers"— Presentation transcript:
1 Scams How can we help protect young Australians from scammers Scams How can we help protect young Australians from scammers? Greg Trengove Outreach Manager ACCC
2 Overview The ACCC and ACFT Scam facts Scams verses spam Why scams succeedCommon types of scamsScam educationScam deterrenceGolden rulesReporting scamsWhat if you have been scammed?The ACCC’s Youth strategy
3 Who is the ACCC? The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission A national law enforcement agencyAdministers & enforces the Trade Practices ActWhat do we do?Promote competitionProtect consumersRegulate certain infrastructureAdminister and enforce fair trading laws that govern business dealings with consumers and other businesses
4 What is the ACFT? The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce 20 agencies working together to fight scamsThree main focus areasScam Education – Annual scams campaignScam Deterrence/Disruption/EnforcementScam ResearchACFT membersAttorney General's DepartmentAustralian Bureau of StatisticsAustralian Communications and Media AuthorityAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission (Chair)Australian Institute of CriminologyAustralian Securities and Investments CommissionAustralian Federal PoliceThe Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital EconomyAustralian Taxation Office just joinedState and territory governmentsAustralian Capital Territory Office of Fair TradingConsumer Affairs VictoriaNew South Wales Office of Fair TradingNorthern Territory Department of JusticeQueensland Office of Fair TradingSouth Australian Office of Consumer and Business AffairsTasmanian Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair TradingWestern Australian Department of Consumer and Employment ProtectionNew Zealand GovernmentNew Zealand Commerce CommissionScamwatch New Zealand (New Zealand Ministry of Consumer Affairs)
5 A few Facts about Scams In any given year 6 million Australians are exposed to scams800,000 fall victim in some wayAlmost $1 billion in lossesMany scams areMass-marketedGlobal in nature – originating overseasHighly sophisticatedOrganised crimeResearch undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics - Personal fraud in Australia - ABS 2007A large proportion of this money goes overseas
6 A few more Scam factsPeople often keep their decision to respond to scams privateVictims often have better than average knowledge in the area of the scam contentVictims spend more time and cognitive effort analysing scam offers than non-victimsPeople decreasingly consider scams to be criminal activityFirst three points from a UK OFT report The Psychology of scams – May 2009Last point from the ACFT survey conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology in 2009 – a reduction in the percentage of survey participants that considered scams to constitute criminal activity – compared with 2008 survey resultsLarge numbers of scams go unreported as a result
7 The changing nature of Scams Scams are increasingly:ProminentSophisticatedDynamicPersonally targetedCause significant financial and other harm to Australian consumers and business
8 Scam verses SpamScams attempt to steal your money or identity by stealing your personal detailsSpam is unsolicited s or smsSpam may be used to deliver scamsSpam may also deliver malicious software to computers and mobile devices
9 Why do Scams succeed?Seduction - They appeal to your needs or desires and try and push those buttonsDeception - They look like the real thing by using legitimate looking symbols or language to con you into giving money or informationNobody is immune – people from all backgrounds, ages and income levels fall victim to scamsScams can be designed to steal your money or personal details.Personal information includes credit card and bank account details, passport details and name and address details. This is known as ‘identity theft’.Identity fraud generally refers to the use of a stolen or assumed identity to gain goods, services, money and other benefits, or to avoid obligations.By using your personal details, scammers can sometimes take out loans, claim welfare benefits or run up debts in your name. These activities can damage your credit rating, making it difficult for you to borrow money or get a credit card; and could also actually cost you money.Why do scams succeed?Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels across Australia.There is no one group of people who are more likely to become a victim of a scam. If you think you are 'too clever' to fall for a scam, you may take risks that scammers can take advantage of.Scams primarily succeed because of two things.Deception scams often look legitimate or like the real thing.Seduction - It appears to meet your need or desire. Scammers manipulate you by ‘pushing your buttons’ to produce the automatic response they want.They play on emotional or societal triggers to get a response
10 Remember: If it sounds to good to be true – it usually is! Three dangerous myths1. Companies, businesses & organisations are legitimate, trustworthy bodies – vetted by the government2. All websites are legitimate businesses3. There are some secret short cuts to wealth1. Companies, businesses & organisations are legitimate, trustworthy bodies – vetted by the government2. All websites are legitimate businesses3. There are some secret short cuts to wealth1. Companies, businesses & organisations are legitimate, trustworthy bodies – vetted by the government2. All websites are legitimate businesses3. There are some secret short cuts to wealthxxxxxRemember: If it sounds to good to be true – it usually is!
11 Consumer scams Lotteries, sweepstakes and competitions Job and employment scamsGolden investment opportunitiesSports investment scamsMoney transfer requestsBanking, credit and online account scamsInternet scamsMobile phone scamsHealth & medical scamsDoor-to-door scams
12 Business scams Domain name renewal scams Directory or unauthorised advertisingFalse billing scamsOverpayment scamsFaxback scamSports investment scams
13 Commonly reported Scams Scams commonly reportedAdvance fee fraudPhishingPyramid SchemesLotteries, competitions and fake prizesWork from home or employment/smallbusiness opportunity scams are increasing
14 Money Transfer Scams Also Advance fee fraud or Nigerian scams Requests to help transfer moneyCamouflaged as an employment opportunityOffered a percentage of fundsRequired to pay taxes or fees before ‘paid’Provide bank account details – then strippedCan be money laundering which is illegal
15 Phishing, Mishing and Vishing All are attempts to steal personal information to commit fraud and ultimately your money.Phishing - uses links or attachments in s to trick you into providing personal or banking details.Mishing uses your mobile phone (sms etc) to secure information.Vishing uses Voice over Internet Protocal technology to steal your details.Scammers pose as bank, government, or other financial institution official to urge you to click on a link to update your personal profile or 'validate' or 'confirm' your personal details.Genuine banks and organisations will NOT contact you by to request confidential and personal information. If a bank or organisation sends you a genuine request for some information, they should address you by name and not refer to you as 'account holder' or 'customer'. A genuine bank or organisation should take good care to ensure that any or message they send to you does not contain typing errors and grammatical mistakes—many scammers make silly mistakes.
16 Scams education research People may be closed to general scams messaging as they believe they are already fully informedMessages outlining how specific scams work are more effectivePersonal stories create engagement & resonanceTargeting educational material to those vulnerable to scams most effectiveEffective scam education requires similar techniques to those used to market scamsMotivational & cognitive approaches necessaryACFT commissioned research in 2008 to inform the 2009 Scams awareness campaign - Colmar Brunton:UK OFT Psychology of scams report May 2009
17 Scams - Education SCAMwatch Little black book of scams Scams fact sheetsPhishingMoney launderingLotteries, sweepstakes and competitionsSports investment scamsAustralasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce annual scams awareness campaigns.Sports investment scams –Multi-agency taskforce to crack down on sports arbitrage and sports investment scamsACCC Queensland Office of Fair Trading, Queensland Police, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Taxation Office to target these rackets."Operation Marble a swoop on a number of Gold Coast 'firms' which proved to include post boxes and serviced offices.Up to $20 million may have been lost by Australian consumers in such schemesThe intelligence gathered in the operation is assisting agencies to devise future strategies for compliance and enforcement actions under their respective legislation.These schemes involve gambling on sporting events, usually between two teams. Promoters claim that by placing one bet for each outcome with different betting companies, it's possible for you to always make a profit. They make out they are genuine investments when they are just gambling.Launched the new fact sheet in June to warn consumers Australia-wide to think about how much they could lose if they take part in these schemes.
18 SCAMwatch Transferred from Treasury in 2005 Redeveloped and relaunched in 2006Purpose of SCAMwatchInforms consumers and small businesses how to recognise, avoid and report scamsIdentifies and explains a variety of common scams that regularly target Australian consumers and small business and tips to avoid them.Background on SCAMwatch:The SCAMwatch website has been administered by the ACCC since its transfer from Treasury in late Following a significant review by the Consumer Strategies Section, the re-vamped SCAMwatch was launched in October 2006.. SCAMwatch identifies and discusses a variety of common scams that regularly target Australian consumers and small business in areas such as phishing, online banking, fake lotteries, employment scams etc.
19 Features of SCAMwatch www.scamwatch.gov.au Common scams targeting Australians (left hand side)On the left hand side of the web page, information about a number of common scams is available to help consumers protect themselves from scams.Radar alertsThe purpose of the radar alert is to warn consumers and businesses about any topical and/or prevalent scams. For example, following a dramatic increase in complaints received from doctors’ surgeries/clinic in relation to medical directory scams, a radar alert was issued recently.All radar alerts are also sent to subscribers.Victim storiesVictim stories are based on real experiences of consumers who have fallen victim to scams.The purpose of these stories is to help people avoid scams by raising the awareness levels of these scams and to highlight any warning signs.Report a scamA range of contact details for relevant government agencies is provided, including state offices of fair trading and ASIC.Little black book of scamsThe Little black book of scams highlights a variety of popular scams that regularly target Australians and can be downloaded from our website.
20 SCAMwatch key features Radars alerts – provide warnings of emerging scamsVictim stories – attempt to establish relevance and resonate messagesReport a scam – where to report different scamsHow to protect yourself – tips to avoid being scammedSee a scam – example scams illustrate scammer tricksACFT Portal for the annual scams awareness campaignScams target you page – shows anyone can be a victimSCAMwatch redevelopmentCurrently evaluating the website for possible redevelopmentAssessing the requirement for new content and featuresNew business scam contentNew victim storiesBulletin board
21 See a scam - PhishingAnnotated phishing scam example available on the SCAMwatch website:By providing annotated scam examples, it gives the consumer an idea of what the scam looks like. The purpose of the notes is to highlight any warning signs and things to look out for to help consumers recognise scams.
23 2010 ACFT campaign Main features of the 2010 ACFT campaign: An ACCC scams reportA broad scams awareness media campaignA media event like the 2009 Fraud ForumA private, government and community partner program to deliver key scams awareness messagesDeveloping SCAMwatch as the portalAbout ACFTSCAMwatch is the web portal to the annual Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT) awareness campaign.The ACFT was formed in March 2005 and comprises of 19 (now 20 with ATO) government regulatory agencies and departments with responsibility for consumer protection. The ACFT also has a range of community, non-government and private sector organisations as partners.The purpose of the awareness campaign is to raise consumer awareness about the increasing dangers of scams and the steps they can take to protect themselves from scams.The 2009 campaign ran from 2 to 8 March, was kicked off by a Fraud Forum that included speakers from overseas to highlight emerging scams, the changing nature of scams andThe 2008 campaign focused on scams that seduce and deceive consumers with promises of great prizes, true love or easy money.Information about the 2009, 2008 or 2007 campaigns are available on the SCAMwatch website.During the ACFT campaign, links to ACFT member agencies and the names of government, private and community ACFT partners are loaded up on the SCAMwatch website.
24 Scam DisruptionEducation designed to minimise the impact of scam activity by empowering consumers and business to avoid scamsDisruption is aimed at reducing the instances of scam offers by targeting the activity of scammersIncludes all action taken to pursue scammers (Enforcement - Securing funds)Enforcement is difficult due to jurisdiction
25 Scam Research Research informs education and disruption initiatives Research streamsReasons why people respond to scamsEmerging scam trends and practicesDetriment of scams (financial and other)Efficiency of education and disruption practices
26 Golden Rules No guaranteed ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes Don’t agree to offers or deals straight awayDon’t rely on glowing testimonialsDon’t hand over money or sign anything before doing some homeworkGet independent advice if an offer involvesTimeMoneyCommitmentNever send money, account or credit card details to someone you do not know and trustDo not follow links, open attachments or respond to spam (unsolicited) s or SMS – delete themAlways be sceptical - If it looks too good to be true it probably is!
27 Where to report Scams Police for fraud, theft and other crimes ASIC for financial or investment scamsATO for income tax scams or identity theftBanks for banking and credit card scamsConsumer and Business Affairs for local scamsACMA for spam s or SMSACCC for scams from interstate or overseas or if you are unsure who to contactContact details available on SCAMwatch under ‘report a scam’
28 If you have been scammed Reduce the damage:If you have been tricked into signing a contract or by a door-to-door seller call Consumer & Business Affairs.Contact your bank immediately if you think someone has got hold of your account or credit card details or you have sent money via electronic funds transfer.If you have used a wire service to send money to a scammer – contact the provider immediately.If your computer has been compromised – run system and virus check, change passwords, upgrade security, seek assistance from a computer professional.Mobile phone scams – contact your mobile phone provider.
29 Targeting young people ACCC is scoping a Youth StrategyEvaluating the issues, messages and communication channels to more effectively engage with young AustraliansYouth focus groupsLooking at Facebook and resources for schools/teachersScams one of the issues identified
30 Questions? Thank you for your time If you have any questions about the ACCC, ACFT Scams or SCAMwatch or would like to provide feedback contact:Visit SCAMwatchVisit the ACCC websiteCall the ACCC InfocentreThank you for your time