Scammers are often professional criminals. Anyone can fall for a scam, because scammers are getting smarter and using more sophisticated tricks to dupe thousands of Victorians every year.
Why older Victorians?
Many older Victorians are attractive targets for scammers, because they often own substantial assets and have access to life savings and superannuation. Many are also looking for smart ways to invest their money or build their nest eggs.
Older Victorians are also the fastest growing online user group in the country. Many go online to:
- keep in touch with their children, family and friends
- correspond via email
- watch YouTube videos
- watch catch-up TV
- research and book travel, and much more.
Life events such as financial hardship and recovering from illness, loss and trauma can also leave people more vulnerable to scams.
You are not alone
More than 31,000 Victorians reported a scam in 2016. If you have been scammed, it can help to talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust. If you experience depression or anxiety as a result of being scammed, you can seek professional help from:
Men can find specialised support by visiting the Victorian Men's Shed Association website.
Maria lost thousands of dollars in a romance scam. Watch her story, as she explains how to look for signs that things may not be as they seem.
Stay informed and protect yourself from online scams
See how scam savvy you are by taking our online scams quiz.
Keep these tips in mind when you are online:
- Be wary of online sellers offering goods and well-known brands at extremely low prices. For more information, view our Online selling scams page.
- When selling items online, do not follow the links in a payment notification email to check whether the payment has arrived - log into your account directly.
- When dating online, do not send money to someone you have never met, even if you have spoken to them or received gifts from them. For more information, view our Romance scams page.
- If you are searching for rental properties online, always inspect the property you want to rent before signing a lease agreement or sending any money. For more information, view our Rental scams page.
- Be wary of unsolicited emails saying you have unclaimed funds or are owed money. For more information, view our Rebate scams page.
- Do not let anyone pressure you into making quick investment or financial decisions. For more information, view our Investment scams page.
- Never send money or bank details to claim a prize. For more information, view our Lottery scams page.
- If you get a call out of the blue from someone saying they need to access your computer to repair it, hang up - it may be a scam. Get a professional to check your computer if you think it needs repairing. For more information, view our Computer repair scam page.
More ways to stay scam savvy:
For updates on new and common scams: