National Consumer Fraud Week
National Consumer Fraud Week – From the 18 – 24 May, is the National Consumer Fraud Week. This week is all about keeping your personal information safe and secure. If you are not aware of whether your information is protected or not, you are at much greater risk of becoming a victim of a scam. If scammers get a hold of your personal information, they can commit crimes such as open online accounts, port your mobile number, take out loans, and continually use your name for fraudulent purposes.
You must be vigilant with the information you provide people and organisations. To protect yourself from scammers, iDcare and Scamwatch recommended several tips to guard yourself:
- Keep your personal details secure, this includes both on and off the computer. Physical documents and bills that are no longer needed, should be shredded and your mailbox should be locked and secure;
- If a salesperson is trying to sell you goods in person or online, always contact the business first, to ensure the deal is legitimate. Do not use the contact details they provide, look it up yourself to be certain;
- Be aware about what information you are posting online. Once you have posted something, it remains online forever. Even if you delete that information, someone may have copied it before you deleted it;
- You should always have up-to-date software and anti-virus on your computer, phone, and tablet. This will prevent scammers from hacking into your personal devices and taking your information. Always use password protection on your devices and regularly change your password. Make sure you don’t have your password easily accessible and ensure your passwords are strong and unique;
- Beware of sending money online or providing your bank details. If a person is trying to get a hold of your bank details or credit card information, always contact the business first. Even if it is a well-known company, scammers use authentic business names to make the sale sound legit, however you should never provide details unless confirming the company first.
- Check your credit history annually; by apply for a free, yearly credit report. This will enable you to check activity on your credit report, to ensure all entries have been authorised by you.
If there is any unauthorised activity on your credit report, please contact iDcare on 1300 432 273 or email email@example.com. We will advise you on the process for dealing with removing fraudulent activity on your report.
For more information on the National Consumer Fraud Week, check out the ACCC article at http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/fraudweek2014/