Scams Awareness Week - too smart to be scammed?

Summary: The Scamwatch team hit the streets of Melbourne and asked members of the public to test their knowledge on current scams. How did they go?

Published: 12 August 2019

Jayde: Hi, I’m Jayde.

Alex: And I’m Alex.

Jayde: We’re from the Scamwatch team.

Alex: And we’re hitting the streets of Melbourne today finding out if you’re ‘too smart to be scammed.’ Do you have two minutes now to take a quick quiz with us?

Consumer: Yep.

Consumer: Yes.

Consumer: Okay.

Jayde: How confident are you that you can identify scams?

Consumer: Middling. Middling confidence.

Alex: So, two online shopping websites for handbags: which one is the scam site and which one is real?

Consumer: Umm ... I’m probably going to say that one. It looks more professional, I guess.

Consumer: It’s hard to tell. Ummm ... I’m not sure which one’s the scam.

Consumer: Uh, yeah I would definitely trust it. It’s got security.

Alex: So it’s the ‘https’ that’s got you trusting it?

Consumer: Yeah.

Alex: Interesting. Yeah, this is actually a scam.

Consumer: Oh, okay.

Consumer: Man, I’m just going to go on price and say that’s a ridiculous discount and so it’s suspicious.

Alex: One hundred percent correct, and that is how you would identify it. It’s just an absurdly low discount. Would you mind taking our quick scam quiz? These are two emails from eBay, one of them is fake and the other one is real. Which one is the scam and why?

Consumer: Um, I’d say this is real.

Alex: Unfortunately not.

Jayde: Which one do you think is a legitimate one and which one is a scam?

Consumer: Well, this one doesn’t have the website. It doesn’t have the right email.

Jayde: Great very good. Alright.

Consumer: I think this one is the fake one. But then ... the way the email is written is a little bit sketchy.

Alex: Two communications from Australia Post...

Consumer: Okay, cool.

Alex:...and one of them is a scam and one’s legit.

Consumer: Which one’s the scam? Um... this one’s the scam.

Alex: Why do you think that one’s the scam?

Consumer: This one just seems more design-orientated. I feel like a scammer wouldn’t put in that much effort.

Alex: They actually have in this one.

Consumer: Ah really?

Alex: Yeah.

Consumer: Oh, Jesus. Okay.

Consumer: Okay, I’m gonna say that one’s good, then.

Consumer: I would say this one’s the scam - well that one - they both got tracking numbers so it’s a bit tricky.

Alex: If you look closely at the wording, there’s some typos and it’s not amazing English.

Consumer: Oh it is, as well.

Alex: Genuinely difficult one.

Consumer: Yes.

Consumer: Probably. So they use their logo?

Alex: They do. They’ve stolen their logo totally.

Consumer: I think it’s really hard if people aren’t digital natives. So I think, for someone in my generation, I grew up with the internet. But I know for my Mum, it’s a lot harder I guess. Just, if something seems too good to be true it probably is. That’s the old adage, isn’t it?