The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT) today launched scams awareness month, a 4 week initiative to help you protect yourself from scams.

Australians continue to fall prey to the criminal activities of fraudsters and scammers as unprecedented numbers of sophisticated swindlers bombard us with electronic, phone and postal scams.

There is a scam created to trap everyone - from dodgy emails and text messages, to Nigerian scams to phishing and lottery scams.

Consumers should be aware that all sorts of people fall for these kinds of slick swindles and that they need to be alert in order to protect themselves. One of the best ways to combat scams is to take steps to prevent being caught out in the first place.

Protect your money:
1. Never respond to an email asking you for your PINs or passwords
2. Never send money to someone you don't know or trust
3. Only invest with licensed financial services providers

Protect your phone:
1. Be suspicious of unexpected calls and text messages
2. Hang up. Or text 'STOP' to unwanted messages
3. Don't give out your number to just anyone.

Protect your computer:
1. Keep your protection software up to date
2. Don't respond in any way to unsolicited emails
3. If in doubt, delete

Protect your identity:
1. Never give out personal information to someone you don't know or trust
2. Don't just bin – destroy it (old bills, records or expired cards)
3. Check your credit report at least once a year

To report a scam, visit the SCAMwatch Report a Scam page.

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