Beware Of Scams

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Published by Preston Law on 26/04/2023

Dad joke alert – a guy tried to sell me a glass panel once, but I knew it was a scam… I could see right through it.

Recent Government studies stated that Australians lost a record $3.1 billion in 2022, up by 80% from 2021.  Yes, that is billion with a ‘b’.

Banks may help with disputed transactions, but in many cases, they can’t, leaving you out of pocket.

While we can’t stop scammers targeting people, we must all be careful to keep an eye out for suspicious activities and ‘dodgy’ people, because as the old saying goes, prevention is better than a cure.

Case In Point

A Preston Law staff member was personally targeted via Facebook Marketplace recently, using a common ‘phishing’ scam involving ‘PayID’.  PayID is a payment method using your phone number or email, where you can receive a bank account transfer just by giving the other person that information.

The scam involved an apparently genuine PayID email confirming a payment had been made, but saying there was an issue with the PayID account and that more money had to be paid in order for the account to be activated.  The dodgy person confirmed they received the same email, and that the way to fix it was they would pay extra money, provided the person agreed to repay that extra money.  As seen with other scams, the scammer would have then had the person’s name, email, and bank account details and attempted to empty the bank account.

What triggered suspicion was that the dodgy email address was payd.commonwealth.au.com.au@gmail.com – a call to the Commonwealth Bank confirmed that was a dodgy email address and a scam.

The Queensland Law Society recommends only making bank transfers after receiving verbal confirmation of bank details over the phone, and that practice is enforced by Preston Law and its staff.   

Things to watch for and avoid:

  • Be wary when asked for more personal details (address, DOB, etc) than required;
  • Watch out for suspicious email addresses like the dodgy PayID ‘Gmail’ email shown above;
  • Never click on links in an email, especially when you’re asked to give or confirm your personal details, unless you’re sure you can trust the source of the email;
  • If you have doubts, make a phone call to a trusted phone number to confirm authenticity;
  • If it sounds or looks suspicious, it probably is – like a person saying they need to pay you more money to activate your account provided you pay them back.

All in all, the best advice is to be vigilant and careful and be on the lookout – and not just for the dodgy Dad jokes.

If you have concerns or queries about these issues, or generally in relation to your or your business’s legal needs, please contact our experienced legal team today.

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