Be careful of scammers

OLDER Queenslanders are being given critical advice on how to avoid being scammed after it was revealed that over 65s recorded the largest losses to scammers in 2022.

Bank of Queensland Beerwah owner/manager Martin Kavanagh spoke to attendees at the Glass House Mountains Neighbourhood Centre recently where he shared key ways to protect personal information and tips to protect yourself online.

He said it was critical to validate all communications and do not click on links provided or open any attachments.

Martin also advised to install a phishing filter on email and web browsers.

Online conversations were also fraught with danger, with scammers often coming across as extremely believable.

“Be careful who you interact with online, look out for rapid declarations of affection or matters relating to financial hardship and requests for aid,” Martin explained.

It was also important to be wary of anyone asking for personal information via phone, text or email. “Scammers regularly pretend to be well-known and trusted entities,” he said.

Martin said it was important to never provide remote access to your device no matter how legitimate they seem and never disclose your banking details include PIN or passwords.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said: “Australians over the age of 65 have reported almost four times the amount of losses to scammers in August this year compared to August 2019, before the pandemic.” The Minister said the top three scams were investment scams, dating and romance scams, and remote access scams where the victim is tricked into giving remote access to their computer, phone or tablet only to have their private information stolen.

“A recent scam is the ‘Hi Mum’ scam, where the victim receives a text from someone impersonating a family member saying they’ve lost their phone and asking the victim for money,” she said. The Minister added scammers can respond and adapt quickly when their activity is exposed by rolling out a new scam.

Martin says he is available to run anti-scam sessions with community groups and businesses and can be contacted directly on 0439 221 933.