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Thursday , 18 August 2022

Victorians warned against online scams

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As the nation’s competition and consumer affairs watchdog launches an investigation into online scams, Victorians, especially the elderly, are urged to check the truthfulness of online advertising and social media accounts, 

In recent weeks, an East Gippsland resident was swindled out of $20,000 after trying to update virus protection software. Another elderly resident admitted being tricked into handing over personal details to a Facebook account they thought belonged to a friend.

Victorian Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Roma Britnell said people should heed the adage: ‘if it’s too good to be true, it probably is’.

“Scammers are becoming more and more devious in the ways they trick people,” Ms Britnell said.

“This can be through text messages, elaborate emails, or social media channels like Facebook Messenger.

“Fake Facebook accounts sending messages and links to their ‘friends’ is heinous, particularly for older people who might not be as social media savvy.

“The key message remains the same: never click on links in text messages or emails and never agree to money transfers over the internet unless you are absolutely sure it’s a legitimate website.”

Shadow Minister for Seniors, Tim Bull said scammers deliberately targeted older Victorians, hoping to exploit any vulnerability in their knowledge of online security.

“These people leave a trail of disaster in their wake,” he said.

“For those who are a little unsure on social media, I urge them to check their settings on their accounts with family or friends and also be very wary of any requests for money online.

Mr Bull advises not to rush into any money transfer requests until you have checked with someone.


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