Fraud Awareness Week is a weeklong cross-government initiative aimed to get people talking about scams.


Man and woman in a living room. A woman is doing; a man is sitting on an armchair with a laptop on his knees. Chill out music in the background.

Man: Hey, babe. Check out this e-mail. I've just won a car, ha ha. I can't believe it.

Woman: Really?

Man: Yeah, looks legit. Party music playing

Woman: Are you sure about that?

A man hiding behind the armchair appears.

Tip man: Woah, woah, wait a second! Music stops playing.

This is a classic scam scenario. If something sounds too good to be true it's a good chance there's.

So, tip number one for staying safe from scams is: Be suspicious

Chill out music plays again

Woman: I'd double-check that if I were you, Daryl.

Man: Yeah, good thinking.


A sales man is in an elderly woman’s house. Both are standing. Quiet music is playing in a background.

Man: Yes, ma'am. This will be worth your while. This power special is the deal of a lifetime.

Woman: Ah, will it be right for me?

Man: You won't regret this. Now all you have to do is sign here.

Woman: What's it all about?

Man: Oh this, this is all just technical stuff. No one cares about that.

Woman: But I would say the holiday looks lovely

Music stops playing. The tip man appears again.

Tip man: Wait right there. Don't get taken for a ride. Tip number two when it comes to scams is: Don't engage even if it means being impolite.

Music starts playing again.

Tips man: Go get him, Granny.


A man is sitting with his laptop on a couch. A warning sound starts flashing. He closes his laptop.

His mobile phone rings.

Sam: Hello?

Woman: Hi, is that Sam?

Sam: Yes this is Sam.

Woman: Hi, you seem having some trouble with your computer and I can help you with that. We just need your login and password.

Sam: Ah, ok.

Woman: We also just need your credit card number and we'll have you up and running in no time.

Sam: Yeah, sure. It's ehm 4455...

The tip man rides into view on a chair.

Tip man: Hang on a second. If you're in a fishy situation there's a good chance someone else has been, too. Scam tip number three is: Do your research.

Sam: Exactly who am I talking to?


Tip man: Just remember if you're ever in a scenario where you're telling yourself wait a sec...

Wait a sec!

Be suspicious.

Don't engage.

And do your research.

Fraud Awareness Week 2017

Scams target everyone, people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels. All of us may be vulnerable at some time.

The theme for this year's International Fraud Awareness Week is how to spot a scam.

Scams succeed because they look like the real thing and catch you off guard when you’re not expecting it. They also exploit your desire to be polite and respectful, as well as your generosity, compassion and good nature.

Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your money or personal details.

More and more often they start their harvesting online, specifically in social media, where you are more likely to trust your friends and connections.

Staying safe from scams is about understanding how they work and staying alert. Check out our tips on how to spot a scam and how to keep safe.

Scams in numbers

Everyday people fall victim to scams. In 2016:

  • More than 7,000 people reported a scam to Netsafe
  • A total of over $11.7 million dollars was lost
  • The average loss exceeded $10,000 with the highest loss reaching $2 million
  • The most common scam reported was the "PC Doctor" scam where scammers offer to fix your computer remotely
Source: Netsafe data

Social media safety

Be on the lookout for scams on social media. Scammers may gain your trust and trick you into giving them access to information they shouldn’t have

They research a person and get enough information to be able to either guess your passwords, or get you to reset it to the one they choose

Be wary of opening links or attachments in social media. Links asking you to visit another website to claim a free offer or a prize are often scams. These can be used by scammers to get hold of your personal details, or even install malware on your device.

Look out for fake friend requests. Scammers often set up fake profiles to get information from you that they could use for their own gain

Don’t log in to other websites or apps using your social media login details. For example, some sites will ask if you want to create an account with them using your Facebook login details. If you’re creating a new account, always choose a new username and password

Fake trader scams

A fake trader scam is when a person poses as a seller on a ‘buy and sell’ Facebook page or group, or sets up a fake business page.

They then pretend to have goods or services for sale, but once they receive payment they don’t follow through with the deal.

Remember that Facebook pages and groups are not moderated by Facebook. This means they have been set up by users and there is a greater risk in using them.

Often a fake Facebook page will look legitimate. If the trader has a Facebook profile that appears new or incomplete this could be a sign that the account has been set up for scamming.

If you want to use buy and sell pages, the safest option is to only pay the seller after you have inspected the goods in person. However, if this isn’t possible it’s important to remember that if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. You should always request tracked shipping when you purchase online and if you have any doubts about the goods or the seller don’t go ahead with the deal.