Be on alert for scammers

Did you know Australians have lost more than $38 million in scams just in 2018?

This equates to more than 46,500 reports of scams in six months.

Like all industries, private health insurance members are also susceptible to potential scammers.

While scammers often target people for money, they can also try to steal your personal information.

It is important that you safeguard your details and if you are unsure about the legitimacy of the information you have been provided, do your own research before acting.

The top three scams people are most likely to encounter online include:

  • Phishing – often delivered through email, the scammer will pretend to be from a well-known business or government department to con their victims out of personal information and money.
  • False billing – scammers will pretend to be from a provider and may send you a fake bill.
  • Buying and selling – scammers will trick people by setting up fake online profiles and listings that are often too good to be true.

In April 2018, more than $689,5000 was lost to scammers gaining access to your personal information. The majority of those conned were through phone (65.2 per cent) and were aged over 65.

To protect yourself from scams, make sure you protect your information. Be alert to the fact that scams exist and know who you are dealing with.

Some tips include:

  • Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails – delete them.
  • Do not respond to phone calls about your computer asking for remote access – hang up.
  • Keep your personal details secure – put a lock on your mailbox and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing them out. Be careful how much information you share on social media.
  • Keep your mobile devices and computers secure – always use password protection and don’t share access with others.
  • Choose your password carefully – a strong password should include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Review your privacy and security settings on social media.
  • Be aware of any requests for your details or money – do not send money or credit card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t trust.
  • Be wary of unusual payment requests.
  • Be careful when shopping online and always use a service that you know and trust
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