Every day, scammers call thousands of email addresses and phone numbers, so if you haven’t already, you’re likely to be contacted by one. Scammers will have no information about you when they first approach you, and they will likely have no idea if your email or phone number is active. They’re simply hoping that one of the thousands of people they’re attempting to defraud would reply, which, regrettably, many do.
Scammers are attempting to obtain personal information. This is a case of identity theft. They do so in a variety of ways. They may ask for your bank account information in order to transfer a ‘prize’ (for a competition you didn’t enter) to your account, or they may threaten to block your account if you don’t provide personal information to verify your identity. They may urge you to keep money in your bank account for them, practice is known as false mule recruiting, or they may offer items or services that may never be fulfilled (credit card and money transfer scams).
To persuade you that the offer is genuine, some scammers use very professional emails, websites, or contact center workers. They frequently resemble the real thing, such as a bank, an online store, or an internet service provider. They may impersonate a government agency such as Centrelink or Australia Post, or another service that many of us use.
What to Do if You Have Been a Victim of These Scams
If you’ve been duped, don’t be humiliated. Every year, hundreds of thousands of clever Australians are duped. It demonstrates that we remain a trusting community. Scams should be reported to your local consumer affairs agency or the Australian Cyber Security Centre to assist and warn others and track down the scammers. If you have replied to a scam, you should immediately cease all interaction with the scammer and disregard any subsequent communications or attempts to contact you. On your smartphone, you can also ban their phone number or email address.
If you’ve given them your banking information, contact your bank right away (on a number you know is legitimate) or visit a branch. If you have provided the scammers with your personal information, change the passwords for all of your accounts. If a fraudster threatens you, report the threat to your local police department. Call Triple Zero (000) right away if you believe you are in immediate danger from the fraudster.
If you were the victim of a romantic or dating scam, get help from a friend, family member, or counselor. You should not be concerned if you have been contacted by a fraudster but have not answered. Any messages should be deleted or ignored. If you receive more scams, disregard them as well. You can report any scam so that others can benefit. If your identity has been stolen as a result of the fraud, contact IDCARE for assistance in dealing with the implications of identity theft.
How to Get Your Money Back
When You Paid Using a Card
If you paid for something you didn’t get, you might be entitled to get your money back. Your card company can request a refund from the seller’s bank. The ‘chargeback plan’ is what it’s called. If you have made the payment using a debit card, you have the option to charge back the amount you paid.
If you purchased by credit card and the item cost more than £100 but less than £30,000, you may be able to make a Section 75 claim under the Consumer Credit Act. You can’t use Section 75 if the item costs less than £100 and you purchased it by credit card, but you can use chargeback.
When Paid Through Transfer
Inform your bank of the situation as soon as possible and inquire about a refund. Most organizations will reimburse you if you send money to someone as a consequence of a scam. This kind of scam is described as an authorized push payment. If you paid by Direct Debit, the Direct Debit Guarantee should allow you to claim a complete refund.
If you can’t get your money back and believe the situation is unfair, you should file a complaint with the bank. You can take your issue to the Financial Ombudsman if your complaint isn’t resolved in 8 weeks or if you don’t receive a final response letter.
When There is An Unauthorized Transaction
Inform your bank or credit card company right away if you discover an unauthorized transaction on your statement and file a refund claim. In this scenario, the Payment Services Regulations apply, with providers required to refund your money if your account has been subject to unauthorized or fraudulent activity, though you’ll be expected to show that you’ve taken reasonable steps to protect your account and notified the payment provider as soon as possible.