Should we be worried?

Posted: 17 Mar '22
Should we be worried?

Should we be worried?

If you have recently logged into any of the streaming service platforms, you’d be forgiven in thinking that the world is full of crooks and all of us are just way too trustworthy. The media is awash with fanciful tales of fraudsters, both business and personal. And it got me wondering. Firstly, is this a true reflection of current society? And secondly, if it is, what practices could we advise our clients to adopt so they don’t fall into the clutches of a smarmy swindler?

The fact is, there has always been fraud. The earliest recorded case was said to be in 300BC. A Greek dude, named Hegestratos, took out an insurance policy on his ship. He planned to sell his grain, sink the ship and claim on insurance. Unfortunately, he was sprung, his crew chased him into the ocean and he drowned. That’s a tough punishment but human behaviour hasn’t changed much since then. There are always people out there in the world who want a shortcut to wealth. It’s the job of the rest of us, who work hard for our cash, to ensure it’s not a shortcut to our wealth.

So, is there more fraud now than in the past? The ACCC says there is. They have reported that Australians lost a record amount of $851M to scams in 2020. This increase was blamed on scammers taking advantage during the pandemic. In 2020, Government impersonation was rife, lockdowns restricted buyers from viewing expensive items like vehicles before purchase and we were looking for new places to invest our money. Also, people were really lonely.  It was a time of massive world upheaval and all of us were trying to cope with the constantly changing landscape. So does that means, as the world recovers, the fraudsters will retire into the sunset? Not a chance. That’s just wishful thinking.

What can we do to hinder trickster triumphs? I think the bottom line is, we need to be more alert. My mum always said “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” and that’s one of those lessons that will protect you. If you truly believe that there isn’t a shortcut to making money and that success takes time, you are well on your way to fending off most fraud attacks. Don’t believe their spiel, no matter how attractive it sounds. And reach out for advice if you aren’t sure. Here are five other quick tips to defend your dosh:-

  • Block all unwanted calls, emails and text messages. Let technology work for you
  • Don’t click on any link until you’ve checked it’s legitimacy
  • Don’t give your bank or personal details to anyone
  • The more someone pressures you, the faster you should run away
  • And don’t act until you discuss the situation with someone you trust

For more protection suggestions, the Queensland Government has great resources. Here’s a link you can trust to help you on your way.

If you are a more visual beast, you could always kick off your shoes, slouch on the couch and watch some of the new streaming service offerings. Then you’ll definitely know what to look for in a scammer and who to avoid.

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