Spot the Scam

It seems as if there are a growing number of companies that have been set up for the express purpose of scamming innocent people out of their hard-earned cash. There is a scam for everything these days – disaster relief, internet security, even hair-loss treatments. However, a new warning has crossed my desk recently, and I wanted to share it with you – as even though this particular company seems to be targeting real estate agents, there is no telling what other industries could be next on their list.

It starts off innocently – as most scams do – in the form of a phone call. The caller is posing from a publication company that is employed by the National Crime Prevention authority, wanting to confirm an advertisement that you not only apparently placed in their magazine but gave them authority to proceed with a few months back. Of course they are calling now to require payment of $398 – to be made directly into their account.
Now it’s easy to sit back and have a laugh, thinking that no-one would fall for that – but I’m telling you that many people have paid up with no questions asked. It’s easy to be caught out if you’re busy or the claim sounds legitimate.
Here’s how to stay scam-smart
  1. Keep an ear out for stories about scammers and their victims. Pass the information around – you never know who you might inadvertently be helping.
  2. Scam-agents usually profess to know you very well, often with information they have procured from the internet. Check and double check their story.
  3. Go with your gut. If it sounds suspicious – it probably is.
  4. Never EVER give out your credit card or banking details to people over the phone – particularly if they have called you.
Spread the message around Mudgee and let’s shut down these scam-artists down for good.

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