The ACCC Scamwatch radar alert recently drew our attention to a spike in scamming activity related to scammers impersonating well-known businesses or the police so they can gain access to people’s computers to steal money or banking information.
They hear from seniors being tricked by people they thought were from Telstra, the NBN, Microsoft or even the Police, with credible stories, and unfortunately they’ve given personal information or money – so far this year a total of $4.4 million has been reported stolen.
So how can we protect ourselves, and our loved ones, from scammers?
Firstly, we must never give an unsolicited caller personal information, credit card details, online banking information or access to your computer over the phone. Scamwatch’s advice is “If you receive a phone call out of the blue about your computer and remote access is requested, it’s a scam 100 per cent of the time. Just hang up.”
Secondly, we can become more savvy about scammers. Read about Scams on Seniors Online.
Thirdly, we can become more tech savvy. There are many organisations who run courses for older people. For example, the course in how to pay bills safely online on Be , the tech savvy training run by the Australian government. There are also course available for seniors in many local libraries, neighbourhood houses, U3As, learn locals and so on.
Commissioner for Senior Victorians
Gerard Mansour is a passionate advocate for the rights and needs of older Victorians, with more than 25 years’ experience working in the aged and wider community service sectors. He has contributed significantly to policy development and implementation of services assisting senior Victorians.