Scams and how to avoid them

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Scams and how to avoid them.


I got a text the other day “Hi Mum, I have broken my phone and I am using this number.” The “Hi Mum” scam has exploded with more than 1,150 Australians falling victim to the ploy in the first seven months of 2022, with total reported losses of $2.6 million.

Once the scammer establishes contact, they start requesting money for an urgent bill or a replacement phone etc. For those with children or dependant family members, it is not that hard to believe. According to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC), two-thirds of family impersonation scams were reported by women over 55 years of age.

Another common scam is the lost or unable to deliver package texts and voicemail. With Christmas just around the corner, we can expect to see another escalation of this scam where tracking links purportedly from Australia Post, Toll, or Amazon etc., are used to instal malware.

Once accessed, the malware will access your contacts and spread the malware and potentially access your personal information and bank details.

In July, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) reported a new wave of ‘Tax refund SMSF scams’. The texts purported to be from the ATO stating that the individual had a tax refund and to click on the link and complete the form.

Another scam purporting to be from the ATO advised that the recipient was suspected of being involved in cryptocurrency tax evasion and requested that they connect their wallet. At which point the wallet was accessed and any assets stolen.




The ACCC’s Targeting Scams report states that in 2021, nearly $1.8bn in losses were reported but the real figure is likely to be well over $2bn. The largest combined losses in 2021 were:

  • $701 million lost to investment scams with 2021 figures significantly increased by cryptocurrency scams - more scammers are seeking payment with cryptocurrency and losses to this payment method increased 216% to $84 million.
  • $227 million lost to payment redirection scams.
  • $142 million lost to romance scams.


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