2 min read

Australia Consumer Watchdog Warns of Increase in Money Recovery Scams

Alina BÎZGĂ

April 07, 2022

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Australia Consumer Watchdog Warns of Increase in Money Recovery Scams

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is warning consumers of a rise in money recovery scams.

According to the consumer watchdog, money recovery shams increased by 725% in the first quarter of 2022 with losses estimated at over AUD 250,000, a jump of 301% from the same period a year earlier.

“Scammers will ask for money and personal information before offering to ‘help’ the victim and will then disappear and stop all contact,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard explained. “Money recovery scams are particularly nasty as they target scam victims again. These scams can lead to significant psychological distress as many of the people have already lost money or identity information.”

Fraudsters target repeat scam victims

Refund and recovery schemes follow a standard pattern. The targets have already fallen victim to an online scam, either donating to a fake charity or losing money in an online giveaway by paying for a fake prize.

Scam victims usually end up on what the cybercriminals call a “sucker list” that is reused and sold on specialized underground markets. It usually includes the victim’s name, address, phone number, and details on the type of scam fallen for.

“Scammers target previous scam victims, contacting them out of the blue, and pose as a trusted organisation such as a law firm, fraud taskforce or government agency,” the ACCC said. “They may have official-looking websites and use fake testimonials from other victims they have ‘helped’. As well as an up-front payment they often ask victims to fill out fake paperwork or provide identity documents. Scammers may request remote access to computers or smart phones, enabling them to scam their unsuspecting victims.”

How to protect against money recovery scams:

  • Never trust phone calls, emails or social media messages from individuals or organizations that claim to be able to recover money lost in a scam in return for a fee or other payment methods including gift cards, cryptocurrency and wire transfer
  • Know that government agencies do not charge for their work
  • Never give credit card or bank account details to pay for any advance fees
  • Research the organization or individuals before agreeing to submit your data or make any payments
  • Be suspicious of any messages that claim you’ve received a large refund or financial compensation

If you think you’re the victim of a money recovery scam, contact your bank immediately and notify the police.

If you want to know whether your personal data has been made public, or if it shows up in illegal collections of data on the dark web, check Bitdefender’s Digital Identity Protection service today.

The service helps you take measures to control, manage and protect your digital self with real-time notifications that alert you when your data ends up in legal or illegal data collections on the internet. You also get expert recommendations to fix any privacy issue detected so you can stay a step ahead of malicious activity and protect your financial wellbeing.

To prioritize your digital safety and close off additional privacy risks, pair Digital Identity Protection with our brand new 3-in-1 security bundle packing award-winning malware protection, a VPN  and a cross-platform Password Manager.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

What is medical identity theft and how to protect against it

What is medical identity theft and how to protect against it

July 27, 2022

2 min read
Curious about Omegle? Here’s how the roulette-style chat platform can threaten your online privacy and security

Curious about Omegle? Here’s how the roulette-style chat platform can threaten your online privacy and security

July 07, 2022

5 min read
Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

June 28, 2022

2 min read
Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

June 28, 2022

3 min read
Bitdefender Reveals the Top Cyber Threats Faced by Consumers in 2021

Bitdefender Reveals the Top Cyber Threats Faced by Consumers in 2021

June 22, 2022

1 min read
Scam alert: Cybercrooks use shady investment domain to scam keen investors out of money and data

Scam alert: Cybercrooks use shady investment domain to scam keen investors out of money and data

May 24, 2022

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

America’s Emergency Alert System Is Vulnerable to Hacker Attacks, DHS Warns America’s Emergency Alert System Is Vulnerable to Hacker Attacks, DHS Warns
Filip TRUȚĂ

August 05, 2022

2 min read
Keeping Your PayPal Account Safe: A Brief Guide Keeping Your PayPal Account Safe: A Brief Guide
Vlad CONSTANTINESCU

August 05, 2022

3 min read
35,000 GitHub Repository Clones Tainted with Malware 35,000 GitHub Repository Clones Tainted with Malware
Vlad CONSTANTINESCU

August 04, 2022

2 min read