Don't make date with scammers

FAIR Trading advises consumers to watch out for scams.

Scams occur all year round and scammers prey on the generosity and vulnerability of others.

Popular scams Fair Trading advises residents to watch out for, include:

● Bank refund scams:

A spokesman from Fair Trading said people need to be on the look out for scam callers claiming to be from government agencies or banks.

"The callers tell consumers they have obtained funds owing to them from a bank and that in order to receive the money, people need to deposit money for administrative purposes, via Western Union to individuals or into bank accounts," the spokesman said.

"Scammers often know a number of the consumer's personal details such as a date of birth, address or bank account details."

● Computer virus scams:

Fair Trading spokesman said scammers call out of the blue and tell consumers they have a problem with their personal computer.

"The caller may claim to be from a large computer company or legitimate technical service provider and will request remote access to your computer."

"If you say yes, they will run a bogus scan that shows up a fake virus and then you are asked to pay for worthless antivirus software.

"A further risk in allowing remote access to your computer is identity theft or the accessing of personal and financial details."

● Online car sale scams:

Fair trading spokesman said online car sales scams are widespread and commonly target sellers via online sites where scammers pose as a buyer, using a fake identity.

"It is common for the scammer to agree to buy the car for sale and then ask the seller to pay a shipping or buyer's agent fee on their behalf to a Western Union or PayPal account, promising to reimburse the seller by depositing that amount plus the sale price into their account."

● Money transfer requests:

Fair Trading spokesman said these scams usually involve helping the scammer transfer funds through your account; in return you will receive a fee.

"You will be asked to supply your banking and personal details to complete the transaction."

"Banking, credit card and online account scams - these scams aim to get you to hand over your banking and personal information by sending you emails, often saying they are from your bank, asking you to verify your account details and password."

● If you have fallen victim to a scam, report the scam to Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or visit the Scamwatch website scamwatch.gov.au for more information.

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