RACQ issues urgent warning after scam numbers soar

RACQ has urged Queenslanders to be on the lookout for sophisticated scammers, after a new report revealed Australians lost $176 million to cons and scams in 2020.

News.com reported data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch found scams had risen by 28 percent last year compared to 2019.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said some of the most common types of scams were phishing, romance and online shopping scams.

“Unfortunately, scams are becoming more sophisticated and more people than ever are being tricked into handing over their money or their personal information,” Ms Ross said.

“Scams can come in many forms, with victims often contacted through emails, phone calls, text messages and social media.

“Scammers will pose as legitimate organisations like banks, insurance companies or the Government to gain your trust. Communication can look very official, so it’s important that you study any emails or messages carefully before acting, and don’t click any links.”

Ms Ross said scammers could also use high pressure or fear tactics to get people to act the way they wanted.

“Trust your gut and if you feel like you’re being pressured, or the other person is trying to scare you, hang up,” she said.

“Remember your bank will never ask you for your PIN or internet banking password. They would also never to gain remote access to your computer or device.

“If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of a call or email, give the company a call on their registered phone number.”