If you received a call from the Tax Office claiming you had a tax debt that you must pay immediately or be arrested, what would you think?
If your internet provider called saying there were internet problems in your area and that they needed remote access to your computer otherwise they would disconnect your service, what would you do?
Scams Awareness Week
21 – 25 May 2018
While it would be understandable if your initial reaction was fear or panic, this Scams Awareness Week, you are being urged to ‘Stop and check – is this for real?’
Suncorp is partnering with the ACCC's Scamwatch this Scams Awareness Week to raise awareness of threat-based impersonation scams, with almost 33,000 of these scams reported last year.
Threat-based Impersonation Scams
About 85% of these reported scams were initiated by the telephone, so it pays to be diligent and aware the second you answer a call.
In these threat-based impersonation scams, scammers often pretend to be from a government agency or well-known, trusted business, such as Suncorp, and use threats to pressure or scare you into giving them money or your personal information. The scammers may threaten you with fines, disconnecting your internet, arrest, court action or even deportation.
The scammers and their threats can seem genuine and frightening. They can make you feel as if you've done something wrong or that there's urgency and you must do what they say immediately or suffer the consequences.
Many people have believed these threats. According to Scamwatch, over $4.7 million was reported lost and more than 2800 people gave their personal information to these scammers in 2017.
If you're contacted unexpectedly and threatened by someone that says they're from a government agency or trusted business, always consider the possibility that it may be a scam – then stop and check if it's for real.
Tips to stay protected from Impersonation Scams
Scamwatch has shared some tips with Suncorp to help you protect yourself and be scam savvy: