Scammers are targeting people just like you and me!
Scammers will stop at nothing to try and trick you into giving them your personal information.
Understand the tax office will not call you directly
Don't be scared if the "tax office" calls your phone and attempts to take payment for overdue taxes. (Note: This is why a good accountant will be of benefit)
Watch out for COVID-19 scams
Ignore offers to get the vaccine early, for a fee - whether via computer, phone or social media. (Note: I would challenge the decision to get the vaccine in many cases)
Be aware of gift card tricksters
Don't buy gift cards or provide gift card information to someone you don't know. (Note: YES, there have been people scammed into paying fake taxes with gift cards - read more here)
Stay away from risky connections
Avoid unknown networks and ensure devices are not set to automatically join when you're not home.
The most common types of scams will target you through fake emails, text messages, calls, letters, or even someone showing up at your front door.
By knowing what to watch out for, you can help identify theft events before they happen.
Don't respond: If you're not 100% certain of the source of the call, email or text, then hang up the phone, don't click on the link in the email and don't reply to the text message.
Don't trust caller ID or answer phone calls from unknown numbers: If you recognize the caller ID but the call seems suspicious, hang up the phone. Phone numbers can be easily spoofed to appear to be from a legitimate caller.
Don't give our your information: Never provide any personal identification information unless you're absolutely certain the person and reason are legitimate. Remember, banks and taxes offices will never ask you to send personal information such as an account number, Social Security number or Tax ID over text, email or online.
Research and validate: If the individual or organization seems suspicious, make sure the request being made is legitimate by the calling the organization through an official number from their website or consulting with a trusted family member or friend.
I personally have been a victim of identity theft and it SUCKS. It is a hassle to get money back, to change bank accounts, to get a new bank card issued, etc.
This takes time which most people would rather do anything else than to sit on the phone and deal with this. Not to mention the emotional energy that gets drained from having this happened.
Click here for more information and how to act fast when you believe you have become a victim: https://moneysmart.gov.au/banking/identity-theft
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