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Strategies to protect your family against online scams

30 October 2018

This article is part of the Suncorp ESSI Money Family Challenge series, in partnership with the Financial Basics Foundation, an independent charity working to educate young people to better understand money and finances.

Online scams are more sophisticated than ever and it can be tempting for you or your family to click on the offers they promise. The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) says that Australians are scammed out of millions of dollars each year. It can be very hard to tell the difference between a genuine person or a scammer tying to deceive you, so it’s important you and your family learn how to recognise and avoid scams.

Types of online scams

Here's a list of scams, provided by the ACCC, to be aware of, often delivered by email, text or phone:

  • Unexpected money
  • Unexpected winnings
  • Fake charities
  • Dating and romance
  • Buying or selling
  • Job and investment
  • Attempts to gain personal information
  • Threats and extortion

Regardless of how much time they spend online, share this fact sheet with your family and friends to help them stay safe.

What not to do

To lessen your chances of getting scammed:

  • Never give your personal information out to someone who asks over email
  • Don’t give sensitive information to anyone you don’t trust, especially credit card details
  • Take care when clicking on links when you’ve been asked give personal information.

Strategies to protect your family

It’s not all doom and gloom – there are lots of things you can do to protect your family online, like:

  • Report any scams to an organisation like Scamwatch 
  • Always manually type web addresses into your browser, instead of clicking on an email link 
  • Call the business via phone if you’re unsure 
  • Pay attention to the spelling, grammar, formatting and graphics of emails 
  • Get help immediately if you think you’ve been scammed 

Make sure you know your rights – check out the ACCC website for more information.

Read more:

Financial Basics Foundation

The Financial Basics Foundation is a non-for-profit charity focused on educating young people in money and personal finances. Their vision is, “that all young Australians are financially capable and can manage their finances now and into the future.” For more information visit

This is general information only, current as at 20 November 2017 and is not legal or financial advice, nor is it intended to be legal advice or financial advice. It is not a recommendation or advice in relation to the Suncorp Group or any product or service offered by any company or entity in the Suncorp Group and does not take into account a person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.