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Scams How can we help protect young Australians from scammers? Greg Trengove Outreach Manager ACCC.

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Presentation on theme: "Scams How can we help protect young Australians from scammers? Greg Trengove Outreach Manager ACCC."— Presentation transcript:

1 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 succeed Common types of scams Scam education Scam deterrence Golden rules Reporting scams What if you have been scammed? The ACCC’s Youth strategy

3 Who is the ACCC? The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission A national law enforcement agency Administers & enforces the Trade Practices Act What do we do? Promote competition Protect consumers Regulate certain infrastructure

4 What is the ACFT? The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce 20 agencies working together to fight scams Three main focus areas 1Scam Education – Annual scams campaign 2Scam Deterrence/Disruption/Enforcement 3Scam Research

5 A few Facts about Scams In any given year 6 million Australians are exposed to scams 800,000 fall victim in some way Almost $1 billion in losses Many scams are Mass-marketed Global in nature – originating overseas Highly sophisticated Organised crime

6 A few more Scam facts People often keep their decision to respond to scams private Victims often have better than average knowledge in the area of the scam content Victims spend more time and cognitive effort analysing scam offers than non- victims People decreasingly consider scams to be criminal activity

7 The changing nature of Scams Scams are increasingly: Prominent Sophisticated Dynamic Personally targeted Cause significant financial and other harm to Australian consumers and business

8 Scam verses Spam Scams attempt to steal your money or identity by stealing your personal details Spam is unsolicited s or sms Spam may be used to deliver scams Spam 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 buttons Deception - They look like the real thing by using legitimate looking symbols or language to con you into giving money or information Nobody is immune – people from all backgrounds, ages and income levels fall victim to scams

10 Three dangerous myths 1. Companies, businesses & organisations are legitimate, trustworthy bodies – vetted by the government 2. All websites are legitimate businesses 3. There are some secret short cuts to wealth Remember: If it sounds to good to be true – it usually is! 1. Companies, businesses & organisations are legitimate, trustworthy bodies – vetted by the government 2. All websites are legitimate businesses 3. There are some secret short cuts to wealth 1. Companies, businesses & organisations are legitimate, trustworthy bodies – vetted by the government 2. All websites are legitimate businesses 3. There are some secret short cuts to wealth

11 Consumer scams Lotteries, sweepstakes and competitions Job and employment scams Golden investment opportunities Sports investment scams Money transfer requests Banking, credit and online account scams Internet scams Mobile phone scams Health & medical scams Door-to-door scams

12 Business scams Domain name renewal scams Directory or unauthorised advertising False billing scams Overpayment scams Faxback scam Sports investment scams

13 Commonly reported Scams Scams commonly reported Advance fee fraud Phishing Pyramid Schemes Lotteries, competitions and fake prizes Work from home or employment/small business opportunity scams are increasing

14 Money Transfer Scams Also Advance fee fraud or Nigerian scams Requests to help transfer money Camouflaged as an employment opportunity Offered a percentage of funds Required to pay taxes or fees before ‘paid’ Provide bank account details – then stripped Can 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.

16 Scams education research People may be closed to general scams messaging as they believe they are already fully informed Messages outlining how specific scams work are more effective Personal stories create engagement & resonance Targeting educational material to those vulnerable to scams most effective Effective scam education requires similar techniques to those used to market scams Motivational & cognitive approaches necessary

17 Scams - Education SCAMwatch Little black book of scams Scams fact sheets –Phishing –Money laundering –Lotteries, sweepstakes and competitions –Sports investment scams Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce annual scams awareness campaigns.

18 SCAMwatch Transferred from Treasury in 2005 Redeveloped and relaunched in 2006 Purpose of SCAMwatch Informs consumers and small businesses how to recognise, avoid and report scams Identifies and explains a variety of common scams that regularly target Australian consumers and small business and tips to avoid them.

19 Features of SCAMwatch

20 SCAMwatch key features Radars alerts – provide warnings of emerging scams Victim stories – attempt to establish relevance and resonate messages Report a scam – where to report different scams How to protect yourself – tips to avoid being scammed See a scam – example scams illustrate scammer tricks ACFT Portal for the annual scams awareness campaign Scams target you page – shows anyone can be a victim

21 See a scam - Phishing

22 Scams Target You!

23 2010 ACFT campaign Main features of the 2010 ACFT campaign: An ACCC scams report A broad scams awareness media campaign A media event like the 2009 Fraud Forum A private, government and community partner program to deliver key scams awareness messages Developing SCAMwatch as the portal

24 Scam Disruption Education designed to minimise the impact of scam activity by empowering consumers and business to avoid scams Disruption is aimed at reducing the instances of scam offers by targeting the activity of scammers Includes 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 streams 1Reasons why people respond to scams 2Emerging scam trends and practices 3Detriment of scams (financial and other) 4Efficiency of education and disruption practices

26 Golden Rules 1.No guaranteed ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes 2.Don’t agree to offers or deals straight away 3.Don’t rely on glowing testimonials 4.Don’t hand over money or sign anything before doing some homework 5.Get independent advice if an offer involves Time Money Commitment 6.Never send money, account or credit card details to someone you do not know and trust 7.Do not follow links, open attachments or respond to spam (unsolicited) s or SMS – delete them 8.Always 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 scams ATO for income tax scams or identity theft Banks for banking and credit card scams Consumer and Business Affairs for local scams ACMA for spam s or SMS ACCC for scams from interstate or overseas or if you are unsure who to contact Contact details available on SCAMwatch under ‘report a scam’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 Strategy Evaluating the issues, messages and communication channels to more effectively engage with young Australians Youth focus groups Looking at Facebook and resources for schools/teachers Scams one of the issues identified

30 Questions? If you have any questions about the ACCC, ACFT Scams or SCAMwatch or would like to provide feedback contact: Visit SCAMwatch Visit the ACCC website Call the ACCC Infocentre Thank you for your time


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