Don’t fall foul to scammers

What are the five things to look for that simply scream ‘scam’?

Scam spotted by magnifying glass on keyboard

While some scams are easy to spot, there are others that can catch us unaware. So, what are the five things to look for that simply scream ‘scam’?

Generic greetings
Any email, phone call or letter that claims to be from an authority such as your bank or ATO and refers to you as ‘resident’, ‘sir or madam’ or any such similarly vague term should be ignored at all costs. And if only your first name or Mr xxxx is used, look back at previous correspondence to see if this is the common greeting used.

Company logo
It’s not uncommon for scams to originate overseas and as a result, they may use an old company logo, letterhead or have a spelling mistake in the company name. Also, if the font or image looks distorted in any way, then this is often an indication that it’s a cut and paste job.

Use of language
If the language isn't quite proper English, has grammatical mistakes or, is overly formal or threatening, then it’s a bit of a giveaway. Companies tend not to threaten you with court or legal action in an email or first correspondence. And if the language indicates that it may not be the person writing the communication’s first language, then there’s a good chance it’s not legitimate.

Click through
Banks, financial institutions, government organisations, etc, should never ask you to click through to a website from an email. They will ask you to contact them directly, or log onto your account. Never, ever click through to a website from an email that asks you to confirm or provide personal details.

Quoting changes in legislation
If you’re contacted by an organisation or company quoting that a change in legislation may mean you can now easily switch utility company, claim lost money, lodge your tax return, etc, make sure you do your own check. A quick Google search will either confirm the claim to be legitimate or you’ll be served details of current scams using this method.

Three simple tips to avoid being scammed

  1. If you receive an email unexpectedly, either ignore it or contact the sending organisation directly
  2. If you’re provided with a contact number, run it through a quick Google search or contact the organisation using the number on its website to confirm legitimacy.
  3. Never provide your bank details, credit card number, date of birth, or any other personal information to someone who contacts you requesting these details for verification.

If you think you have received a scam email, either delete or contact the official organisation to verify.

Keep up to date with the latest scams doing the rounds at



    To make a comment, please register or login
    Old Geezer
    21st Oct 2016
    I delete anything with the word "Invoice" in the subject line and message that does not tell me what it is for. I am certainly not going to open that attachment unless they tell me what it is for in the email.

    21st Oct 2016
    The address of the email quite often gives a clue. If the address doesn't finish in 'au' but another pair of letters it is from outside Australia.
    Here is a list;
    ac United Kingdom academic institutions
    ad Andorra
    ae United Arab Emirates
    af Afghanistan
    ag Antigua and Barbuda
    ai Anguilla
    al Albania
    am Armenia
    an Netherlands Antilles
    ao Angola
    aq Antarctica
    ar Argentina
    as American Samoa
    at Austria
    au Australia
    aw Aruba
    az Azerbaijan
    ba Bosnia and Herzegovina
    bb Barbados
    bd Bangladesh
    be Belgium
    bf Burkina Faso
    bg Bulgaria
    bh Bahrain
    bi Burundi
    bj Benin
    bm Bermuda
    bn Brunei Darussalam
    bo Bolivia
    br Brazil
    bs Bahamas
    bt Bhutan
    bv Bouvet Island
    bw Botswana
    by Belarus
    bz Belize
    ca Canada
    cc Cocos (Keeling) Islands
    cf Central African Republic
    cg Congo
    ch Switzerland
    ci Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
    ck Cook Islands
    cl Chile
    cm Cameroon
    cn China
    co Colombia
    com US Commercial
    cr Costa Rica
    cs Czechoslovakia (former)
    cu Cuba
    cv Cape Verde
    cx Christmas Island
    cy Cyprus
    cz Czech Republic
    de Germany
    dj Djibouti
    dk Denmark
    dm Dominica
    do Dominican Republic
    dz Algeria
    ec Ecuador
    edu US Educational
    ee Estonia
    eg Egypt
    eh Western Sahara
    er Eritrea
    es Spain
    et Ethiopia
    fi Finland
    fj Fiji
    fk Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
    fm Micronesia
    fo Faroe Islands
    fr France
    fx France (Metropolitan)
    ga Gabon
    gb Great Britain (UK)
    gd Grenada
    ge Georgia
    gf French Guiana
    gh Ghana
    gi Gibraltar
    gl Greenland
    gm Gambia
    gn Guinea
    gov US Government
    gp Guadaloupe
    gq Equatorial Guinea
    gr Greece
    gs South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
    gt Guatemala
    gu Guam
    gw Guinea-Bissau
    gy Guyana
    hk Hong Kong
    hm Heard and McDonald Islands
    hn Honduras
    hr Croatia (Hrvatska)
    ht Haiti
    hu Hungary
    id Indonesia
    ie Ireland
    il Israel
    in India
    io British Indian Ocean Territory
    iq Iraq
    ir Iran
    is Iceland
    it Italy
    jm Jamaica
    jo Jordan
    jp Japan
    ke Kenya
    kg Kyrgyzstan
    kh Cambodia
    ki Kiribati
    km Comoros
    kn Saint Kitts and Nevis
    kp Korea (North)
    kr Korea (South)
    kw Kuwait
    ky Cayman Islands
    kz Kazakhstan
    la Laos
    lb Lebanon
    lc Saint Lucia
    li Liechtenstein
    lk Sri Lanka
    lr Liberia
    ls Lesotho
    lt Lithuania
    lu Luxembourg
    lv Latvia
    ly Libya
    ma Morocco
    mc Monaco
    md Moldova
    mg Madagascar
    mh Marshall Islands
    mil US Military
    mk Macedonia
    ml Mali
    mm Mynamar
    mn Mongolia
    mo Macau
    mp Northern Mariana Islands
    mq Martinique
    mr Mauritania
    ms Montserrat
    mt Malta
    mu Mauritius
    mv Maldives
    mw Malawi
    mx Mexico
    my Malaysia
    mz Mozambique
    na Namibia
    nc New Caledonia
    ne Niger
    net US network
    nf Norfolk Island
    ng Nigeria
    ni Nicaragua
    nl Netherlands
    no Norway
    np Nepal
    nr Nauru
    nt Neutral Zone
    nu Niue
    nz New Zealand (Aotearoa)
    om Oman
    org US Non-Profit Organization
    pa Panama
    pe Peru
    pf French Polynesia
    pg Papua New Guinea
    ph Philippines
    pk Pakistan
    pl> Poland
    pm Saint Pierre and Miquelon
    pn Pitcairn
    pr Puerto Rico
    pt Portugal
    pw Palau
    py Paraguay
    qa Qatar
    re Reunion
    ro Romania
    ru Russian Federation
    rw Rwanda
    sa Saudi Arabia
    sb Solomon Islands
    sc Seychelles
    sd Sudan
    se Sweden
    sg Singapore
    sh Saint Helena
    si Slovenia
    sj Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
    sk Slovak Republic
    sl Sierra Leone
    sm San Marino
    sn Senegal
    so Somalia
    sr Suriname
    st Sao Tome and Principe
    su USSR (former)
    sv El Salvador
    sy Syria
    sz Swaziland
    tc Turks and Caicos Islands
    td Chad
    tf French Southern Territories
    tg Togo
    th Thailand
    tj Tajikistan
    tk Tokelau
    tm Turkmenistan
    tn Tunisia
    to Tonga
    tp East Timor
    tr Turkey
    tt Trinidad and Tobago
    tv Tuvalu
    tw Taiwan
    tz Tanzania
    ua Ukraine
    ug Uganda
    uk United Kingdom
    um US Minor Outlying Islands
    us United States
    uy Uruguay
    uz Uzbekistan
    va Vatican City State
    vc Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    ve Venezuela
    vg Virgin Islands (British)
    vi Virgin Islands (US)
    vn Viet Nam
    vu Vanuatu
    wf Wallis and Futuna Islands
    ws Samoa
    ye Yemen
    yt Mayotte
    yu Yugoslavia
    za South Africa
    zm Zambia
    zr Zaire
    zw Zimbabwe
    Dave H
    21st Oct 2016
    My wife received a email from the tax office asking to clock on a link and we ignored it. Later she rang them to find out it was a genuine . Now there was a item in the paper saying the police was going to deliver fines by email, I have had the email from the Federal police which was a scam now that the ATO an Police are going to email people so many people will not know what is real or a scam

    18th Aug 2019
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