Fair Go - Two Seniors Lose Close to $2 Million in a Sophisticated Scam

Fair Go - Two Seniors Lose Close to $2 Million in a Sophisticated Scam


Many have been victimized by a sophisticated scam, in which unscrupulous actors demand victims pay for services or products that never arrive. In one particularly devastating case, two couples from Sydney have lost close to $2 million as part of this scheme.

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Police ask for public’s help

Police are cautioning the public to be wary of a sophisticated scam that cost two people nearly $2 million. Criminals used various tactics to take advantage of them, such as impersonating financial advisers, sending false emails and even calling them on mobile phones.

A recent report from Australia's Office of the National Auditor has revealed a growing issue with scams: their numbers are increasing by 10% annually. This poses an acute risk to pensioners, students and professionals alike who often feel left uncertain as to whether they have been duped out of their money.

Fair Go has collaborated with experts from law enforcement, financial services and social media to get to the bottom of this scam. Their top tips include never wiring money to someone you don't know or providing personal information over the phone. Facebook too has implemented numerous safety measures designed to keep users' privacy settings secure.

The Fair Go has also studied how the phrase "the fair go" was used in early Australian lexicon, uncovering some notable individuals along the way. A coding scheme was employed to detect mentions of the fair go, with three contexts producing most instances: sport, politics and industrial relations and law and order sectors.

In the spirit of fair play, we've selected the top few from each category and presented them here. One particularly remarkable finding was its ability to detect over 3000 mentions from a small sample of early Australian newspapers - many of which have long since ceased publication.

Scammers target older people

Scammers target older people for various reasons. Some are able to quickly gain seniors' trust and persuade them that they are helping a friend or investing in an unprofitable business venture. Conversely, others may use high-pressure techniques in an attempt to convince an elderly person into sending money they do not possess.

Some scams involve phone calls, while others take place online. Fortunately, older individuals tend to lose less money through telemarketing fraud than younger individuals do. Unfortunately, they remain vulnerable to internet and email scams since they lack a comprehensive understanding of how to protect themselves from these risks.

One of the most prevalent scams targeting older adults involves a call from a stranger claiming to be calling on behalf of their grandchild or great-grandchild. The caller informs the senior that some crime has been committed against their family member and requests their assistance. They may also claim that they require large sums of cash in order to help the victim get out of trouble, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Another type of scam involves a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or Medicare. The caller may ask for personal information, such as Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, which could then be used for identity theft, according to AARP.

Another type of scam involves a home repair service. These scams often target those who own homes and live alone, making door-to-door visits or calling you from a cell phone claiming to be from an area home repair company.

Scams can pose a real danger to your financial wellbeing, as they could lead to fraud and theft of property. If you're uncertain who is trying to contact you, consult with a reliable family member or financial professional for guidance.

Many scams targeting older people originate overseas, but if you know how to protect yourself and your assets from those criminals, you can avoid becoming a victim. This guide from Minnesota Attorney General's Office will assist in recognizing and understanding some of the most common schemes targeting older adults, providing you with essential information so that you can thwart any swindlers in their tracks.

Scammers claim to be financial advisers

One of the greatest concerns facing financial advisers today is fraudulence. While some professionals do their jobs well and treat clients fairly, others will attempt to take advantage of them by defrauding them of their hard-earned funds.

To protect yourself against becoming the victim of a scam, the first step is being aware of their tactics. Scammers are constantly refining and perfecting their methods in order to stay ahead of the game - using new technology for theft of personal information and money.

A common scam involves someone posing as a legitimate financial advisor and offering to take your money for free. This could indicate that the individual or company you're dealing with isn't licensed and regulated to provide such advice. If someone claims to be an expert, they should hold either an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) license or be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) registry.

Another common way scammers may attempt to obtain your money is by offering you high-return investments. These ventures usually involve shares, mortgages or real estate; they may also involve options trading or foreign currency trading.

Elderly investors in particular should be wary of such schemes, as they are more vulnerable to stress and fear. Furthermore, they may lack the capacity to ask questions or comprehend all fees being charged.

If you are uncertain whether someone is a legitimate financial advisor, check their name on the FCA register or Companies House. Additionally, inquire about their fees and any commission earnings from products sold to you.

In some cases, a fraudulent financial adviser may attempt to convince you to transfer money into a 'holding account' in order to protect it from hackers. This is an old-school scam and the only way to avoid being taken advantage of is by never transferring any of your money from bank account into either a 'holding account' or even into a pawnshop.

Scammers threaten legal action

Scammers employ a variety of tactics to attempt to con people. These may include calling from an unknown number, threatening legal action or posing as an official government department or debt collection agency. These techniques are employed in an effort to gain access to personal details or banking information.

They may call you about a bill or fine and demand payment immediately. These calls are typically carefully timed.

These tactics are intended to intimidate you into handing over money before you realize you're being scammed. The best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft is never providing personal or financial information to someone unfamiliar.

That is why it is never wise to provide your bank or credit card details over the phone. Doing so could result in financial loss and put you at risk of identity theft.

Be wary of any email that appears to be from your mortgage company and claims that you must pay for closing costs. This type of scam often targets homebuyers nearing the end of their loan process.

Emails sent from fake accounts may appear legitimate, but they'll appear to come from the real company. Usually, it includes a link to an online site where you'll be required to download proof of payment or fine - another scam that could infect your computer with malware.

Telephone calls from fraudsters claiming to be from utility providers or government departments often use recordings of previous conversations in an attempt to sound more credible.

These scams are serious and you should contact the police if you receive any such calls. Additionally, checking bank and credit card statements can help detect any fraudulent activity and stop these schemes before they start.

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