What can you do to protect yourself from scams?
Anyone can be targeted or caught by a scam so it’s vital that our information is protected as best we can. Here is an extensive list on ways you can protect yourself.
- Choose your passwords carefully, update them regularly, do not use old passwords and do not share them. It is encouraged that you have different passwords for different online accounts such as banking, social media, email etc. This is to ensure that if one online account is compromised, the Scammer will not be able to access other accounts.
- Wherever possible, use multi-factor authorisation (MFA) to log in to your online accounts. Multi-factor authorisation is when you are sent a verification code via SMS or email that needs to be entered before you can log in to an account
- Delete all emails from your email account where personal information is disclosed (such as bills, transaction summaries or account set up). This protection ensures that if a scammer does access your email account, they will be unsuccessful in stealing further personal details.
- Do not open any suspicious text messages, pop-up windows or click on hyperlinks (example of a hyperlink is: seniorsenquiryline.com.au) or attachments in emails
- If a Caller states they are from a specific business or Government department (such as your bank) – hang up, Google the number of the business and call them directly. If your bank was attempting to contact you, they should have notes on file as to the purpose of the call
- Set your social media accounts (Facebook etc) to private and ensure that only your friends can see your posts. Remove all personal information such as location, date of birth, phone number etc. Be incredibly cautious when posting or sharing anything to social media. Before posting, consider how the information could be used.
- Be cautious about listing and mentioning your mobile number or email address online
- Ask your bank and telco provider to set up a pin number or password that only you know, to identify yourself when you contact them
- Do not respond to any requests asking for remote access to your computer
- Place a lock on your mailbox
- Do not throw documents with personal information in the bin. We recommend that you shred all documents before discarding.
- Do not share your bank or card details with anyone. When purchasing items online, consider a pre-paid card so if your card details are stolen, only a limited about of money is risked.
- Update your phone regularly. When improvements to security are made by the phone manufacturer, they send requests to update the operating system. Setting up automatic downloads will ensure that your phone is always updated and protected against any known issues.
- Consider purchasing anti-virus/anti-malware/anti-spyware software for your devices.
- Keep yourself informed of current known scams through Scamwatch
- Talk to your friends and family. Tell them about what you are experiencing, they may notice red flags that you missed or you might help prevent them being scammed
And remember, if you are not 100% certain, it’s not worth the risk!
For more information on how you can protect yourself from scams, please contact the Seniors Enquiry Line on 1300 135 500 for information and referral support.