Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you. Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material. You can use image search services such as Google or TinEye. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. Consider carefully the advice on www. For example, they may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run of bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street.
They often claim to be from Australia or another western country, but travelling or working overseas. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad. Have you been scammed? If you agree to meet a prospective partner in person, tell family and friends where you are going. They may take months to build what may feel like the romance of a lifetime and may even pretend to book flights to visit you, but never actually come. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you. If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity. Scammers are known to blackmail their targets using compromising material. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences. Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them. Be wary of requests for money. You can use image search services such as Google or TinEye. Scamwatch strongly recommends you do not travel overseas to meet someone you have never met before. Consider carefully the advice on www. They may also ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself, possibly of an intimate nature. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot. It is rare to recover money sent this way. We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. Never agree to transfer money for someone else.
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