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“Scammers know no boundaries” says Senior Constable Sara Coe

Written by Adam Ricco
on April 13, 2023

Victoria Police and Ryman Healthcare came together for another successful 'Coffee with a Cop' at Nellie Melba Retirement Village.

Monash Crime Prevention Officer Senior Constable Sara Coe led an insightful talk on online scammers, ways to identify when you might be vulnerable and how to prevent yourself from being scammed.

Snr Const Coe said as services like banking, utilities and shopping have moved to mostly online transactions, scamming or phishing has become a significant issue for people of all ages.

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Snr Const Coe was thorough in her explanation of the types of scams you might encounter when using your phone, laptop or tablet.

“Anyone can fall victim to a scammer. They're very, very sophisticated. They adapt and change their techniques based on what is going on in society and in the community,” she said.

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Senior Constable Sara Coe led an insightful talk on online scamming

In 2023, Australians have already lost more than $97 million in online scams.

“They might send a scam email or a text to 100,000 people and they may get 1,000 hits. If those 1,000 people send $50, that is a lot of money,” she said.

A common way that scammers reel people into clicking dangerous links and giving up personal information is by creating anxiety and fear in the recipient, she said.

Messages will often create a sense of urgency, asking you to act quickly to avoid severe consequences.

“They want you to react and they want you to make very quick decisions that you're not really thinking about,” Snr Const Coe said.

Luckily, there are a number of ways we can protect ourselves from scammers.

It’s important to secure personal information and devices with strong passcodes and passwords.

This is the simplest way to protect yourself from scammers compromising your data.

Snr Const Coe demonstrated several ‘red flags’ to also look out for when you receive suspicious emails, text messages and phone calls.

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Phishing emails, like this example above, will often ask you to act quickly and include unfamiliar addresses and strange formatting

Phishing emails will often look slightly off, whether they have a strange logo, unfamiliar email address, minor spelling error or are addressed to a generic name.

“Listen to your gut. If you're still not sure I want you to talk to someone, ask for advice. Go to a trusted friend or pick up the phone and speak to your local police,” she said.

To learn more about protecting yourself from scams or to report a scam you have seen, go to https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/

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