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.
You are not alone
In 2017, Victorians made more than 33,000 reports of scams and lost more than $22 million. 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.
To watch videos of real scam stories, view our Real stories page.
Video transcript: Is this a scam? Romance episode (Word, 89KB)
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:
- Watch out for unsolicited emails or phone calls from scammers pretending to be from a government agency, bank or other well-known organisation, saying you owe money. Scammers often threaten that if you do not pay immediately, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. Check with the organisation by contacting them directly. For more information, view our Threat-based scams page.
- 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: