Scams Awareness Week: have you ever been scammed?

Summary: We asked members of the public if they’ve ever been scammed. The results were surprising. Australians made more than 378 000 scam reports in 2018, with more than $489 million reported lost.

Published: 12 August 2019

Jayde: I might start by asking you whether you’ve ever been scammed before?

Consumer: Yes. So, I have one experience with a ticketing website. Basically people will sell on second-hand tickets and sometimes they’re selling multiple copies of the same ticket, and often for, you know, prices two, three times in excess of the original ticket price. And I did get done by them once. I think I paid like $120 for a ticket that didn’t end up working.

Alex: What happened when you were nearly scammed?

Consumer: Oh, it was an email from, I think, someone who wanted to offer me a good time or whatever. I saw the click here and I thought if I click that, I’m sure it’s embedded with malware on to my computer, so ... nearly dodged a bullet.

Alex: Have you ever been scammed?

Consumer: I have.

Alex: What happened?

Consumer: I went to the bank a week before Christmas. And I went to draw out some money, and I thought, ‘Oh that can’t be right.’ I’m a pensioner, I don’t have a lot in there, but I knew what should be in there. And I went into the bank – I was actually at a bank. So I went in and... they looked up my history and I’d had $7000, some sent to London, some sent to Sri Lanka.

Consumer: Well, I recently had an online scam. It had the Telstra logo. And it had the Telstra phone numbers. But the only difference was that they got the time wrong. And I called Telstra to make sure that it was legitimate or not, and it was a fake.

Consumer: I had someone ringing, and say that my computer needed an upgrade, and that I had to get on the computer and get into it and everything. And I went to the computer, and then I went, ‘no hang on, that’s weird.’

Consumer: There was an attempt, but it didn’t work.

Alex: What did they try and do?

Consumer: So, I’ve received phone calls ... from individuals pretending to be the taxation office. I called the taxation office, and they said that they don’t do any robot recording.

Alex: If you were scammed, what would you do?

Consumer: Um, probably contact some government department - I don’t know the name of it, but… oh, Scamwatch, I guess.