News

Scammers using new tactics to steal your money online

SCAMWATCH is warning consumers to beware of fake lotteries or competitions on social networking platforms, with scammers using popular platforms to pedal these empty wins.

Scammers have been sending messages through social media platforms advising recipients that they have won a lottery, draw or competition.

They will often pretend that they are affiliated with the social networking platform or another reputable company to make it seem legitimate.

The scammer will then request personal information to confirm your identity as the winner and then claim that, in order to receive the 'win', you first need to transfer them money for taxes, fees or other reasons.

Recently scammers have added a couple of new tactics to try and trick people into thinking they're winners.

Scammers are using accounts they have hacked to make the ruse seem legitimate to their family and friends - it looks like the message is coming from a profile they know and trust.

The scammer will claim that the hacked victim has won a prize or money and that the recipient has been lucky enough to win as well simply by being their friend.

They will then provide instructions on how to claim the win, usually beginning with moving the conversation away from the hacked account to another one controlled by the scammer.

The scam will then continue as normal, requesting personal information and money.

Alternatively, scammers will send out a short message congratulating recipients that they are a lucky winner of a lottery or competition, with a link to claim their prize.

If you click on this link, your social networking profile and your device's security may be compromised by malware that could lead to scammers hacking your account or stealing your personal information.

If you receive a message on a social networking platform claiming that you have won a lottery or competition, ignore it - don't respond, report it to the platform, and warn your friends and family. In these lotteries or competitions, the only winner is the scammer.

How these scams work

You receive a message on a social networking platform claiming that you have won a large amount of money in a lottery or competition operated or sponsored by the social networking site or another well-known business.

The message may appear to come from someone within your network who you know personally or from someone who you recently accepted a friend request from.

The message contains directions on how to claim your prize, which may include directing you to communicate with a new contact.

The scammer will request personal information such as proof of identity. If you hand over your personal details, you will then be informed that you need to transfer money in order to receive the prize, such as money to pay for delivery.

Alternatively, the message may simply include a link to claim your prize. If you click on the link, you may be directed to another site or instructed to download a file.

If you pay, you will never receive the promised prize and lose every cent that you send.

If you have clicked on an infected link or file, you may also compromise your social networking profile and your device's security.

Protect yourself

Be very wary of any social networking messages out of the blue that claim you have won a lottery or competition, even if they appear to come from someone that you know.

If you receive an unusual message from a close acquaintance, contact them outside of the social networking site to check their story.

Don't accept 'friend' requests from people you don't know - scammers love to pose as friends to learn all about you.

Never click on an unverified link, video or file, no matter how enticing it is - if you do, your social networking profile or device's security may be compromised.

Don't be fooled - scammers will pretend to be a well-known and trusted business, such as the social networking platform, to get under your radar.

Never send any money via wire transfer to anyone you do not know or trust.

If you think your computer's security has been compromised, use your security software to run a virus check. If you still have doubts, contact your anti-virus software provider or a computer specialist.

Remember: you cannot win money in a lottery or competition unless you entered it in the first place. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Report

You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.

Report scam posts to the social networking platform that it appeared on, and help to spread the word by alerting family and friends.

Read more

For more information, check out Scamwatch's Unexpected prize and lottery scams section.

Topics:  scams, scamwatch, social media




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Man coward punches security guard at Macca’s

HANDS OFF: FNQ Security’s Lloyd Finnis is furious one his staff was assaulted.

Macca's security guard punched in carpark

UPDATE: Woman in hospital after Walker St crash

CRASH: The scene at Southside Central (Olsen’s Corner) where a car has crashed into a shop.

An elderley woman has been cut from the car

Small town pub’s $5K pool table destroyed by thugs

ACTING UP: The Miriam Vale Hotel's $5000 pool table was destroyed by three unruly patrons on Saturday night.

The behaviour left the publican and local police disgusted

Latest deals and offers

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%