Scams continue to be an issue, not just on the Sunshine Coast but all over Australia.
There are dating scams, tax office scams, investment scams, prize and lottery scams and online shopping, classifieds and auction scams.
In a scam recently identified to Sunshine Coast police, a substantial amount of money was removed from a victim’s account owing to a scam email.
A supposed ‘innocent’ request was then made from the scammer to another person/victim they had befriended online asking to let them deposit the money into their account and then transfer it out again.
Whilst the request appears unusual, some people might think there is no offence in transferring the money, but actually they may have committed a criminal offence such as fraud or money laundering.
Police are encouraging the community to consider the reality of these situations.
Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards said people must exercise caution in any financial transaction.
“The moment there is a request for assistance with finance or to send money on should start a huge alarm bell ringing for people,” Detective Senior Sergeant Edwards said.
Some tips to protect yourself online:
- Never send money to someone you have only met online.
- Do an image search of the person. This can be done through Google or TinEye – scammers will use images from the internet for their fake profiles.
- Take reasonable steps to verify the person’s identity.
- Discuss the request with friends or family – if there a reason that you don't want to share the information with them then that could be a sign that you are uncomfortable with the request or think something isn't right.
You can find helpful information regarding common scams, how to protect yourself and where you can find help and support if you have been a victim of a scam on the Queensland Police website and the ACCC website.