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Preventing The Rise Of Scams

Scams are a consistent issue in today’s modern society.

In Australia, a recent report has shown that fraudsters had taken $81.8 million within the space of 12 months.

The main method chosen by scammers is with the use of unsolicited phone calls and messages. However, this is followed closely by online fraud.

Dating and romance scams have cost unsuspecting victims almost $28 million last financial year. Over 2669 warnings were issued to residents in New South Wales and Victoria.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has found that 916,137 scams were reported last year.

In NSW 36,000 scams were recorded during the 2014-15 financial year. 28,500 of these were recorded in Sydney alone.

There is also a reported rise in people posing as fake tradespeople. These trades have been scamming homeowners and providing poor overpriced work.

Some of these scams are more sophisticated with legitimate looking advertisements and business numbers. Others tend to go door to door offering their services.

Scammers will quote one price over the phone and charge you something different. They will then try to take as many details as possible including credit card or bank details. If they do arrive at the victim’s house they will often stop halfway through a job, then add on extra fees. Reports have been made of tradespeople intimidating homeowners who refuse to pay the exorbitant prices.

Locksmiths In Sydney recommends doing some research before agreeing to a trades person coming to your home.

  • Know ahead of time who to call. Ask friends and family who they have used before and who they can recommend. Research this business on sites such as Yelp and Truelocal.
  • Make sure the trade person has a fixed address.
  • Check if the trade person is licenced. In NSW, all tradespeople must be a registered. They should be able to show some ID when they arrive onsite.
  • Always ask for a written estimate before the trade person comes to your home. Double check for any extra charges they may not have been mentioned.
  • Get the person to do an onsite estimate before they start. Is it the same as the other estimate? If not, don’t be afraid to ask why.
  • Don’t pay until you are happy with the job.

If you have been a target of a scam contact The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s SCAMwatch website (scamwatch.gov.au).

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