How to Avoid Scams in Free Money Giveaways
Fraud is a rising concern in Australia. As scammers develop new tricks to fleece you
out of your hard earned cash, being informed is one of the best ways to protect yourself from con artists. This article is full of great some advice to help you stay one step ahead of those pesky tricksters.
Ask the right questions before handing over your money
One quick way to check the legitimacy of the person contacting you is to ask them for the name of the company that they represent. Also ask for the address of the company, and the contact details of the owner. If they avoid these questions, or hesitate, then chances are they are a scammer and you should sever all lines of communication.
Always write your own cheques: this tip is self explanatory.
Find out their AFS license number
Investment firms from foreign countries have to get an Australian financial services (AFS) licence before they can legally trade in Australia. Companies in Australia also need an AFS licence before they can legally sell investments.
Check to see if the company has an AFS licence number. If the company is unable to produce their license, don’t deal with them. If they say they do not need one, you should report them to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
Carry out research and background checks on an investment company before signing anything, and always check with a lawyer before handing over money. ASIC has a list of companies that are blacklisted: you can visit their website to view it, if you feel that you’re dealing with someone fishy.
Protect your personal information
Credit card and bank details should never be given to anyone that has made contact with you. It is wise to check your bank account at least once a month, too, to make sure nothing strange is going on. Documents that contain your personal information should be destroyed, so invest in a good shredder. Always use passwords that are difficult to figure out and, never share them with others.
Secure your computer and mobile
Each email aimed at getting your information should be deleted at once. Enable security settings on your mobile phone, and keep your computer’s antivirus program up to date.
Remove your number from telemarketing call lists
Apart from being very annoying, telemarketing is another way scammers get their grubby hands on your details. Ask for your name to be placed on the ‘Do Not Call’ register. This will remove your name, and details, from telemarketer’s phone lists.