Saving Christina from a scam

As we wrap up National Consumer Fraud Week, we’d love to share a story with you about how, earlier this week, we helped Christina avoid a nasty scam.

Last Wednesday, we published the article Grandma conned in fake ATO scam, which told the tale of 67-year-old Glenice Harrison being fleeced out of $5000 by a cheeky fake Australian Tax Office (ATO) scam.

We really do try to keep you all informed of the latest scams and cons going about and, as a result, you often only hear the scary stories about people being nabbed by sly cyber criminals.

Today, with Christina’s consent, we have a more positive scam story to share with you.

Christina wrote in to us yesterday to thank us for tipping her off to the fake ATO scam. Here’s what she had to say.

Thank you to the staff at YourLifeChoices. By reading your information, I have managed to avoid that ATO scam. I have also shared this story on my Facebook page.

“A Melbourne grandmother has been fleeced of $5000 after being conned by scammers claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office (ATO), so Consumer Affairs is warning all Australians to be vigilant about such fraudulent schemes.”

Today I received a similar call from an unknown person stating that this is an automated message and that they were from the ATO claiming that they had sent me a registered letter that was returned to them unsigned. He continued rambling on about me owing tax and so on…

Firstly, I know the people in my local post office and I knew they would have advised me of any registered letter. Secondly, no slip was left in my mail box. Thirdly, everything goes through my accountant. So, after remembering your article, my response to them was “p*** off, you liars!” and I put the phone back on the hook. So thank you YourLifeChoices for the warning.

Once again I thank you for your newsletters, as they have proved very beneficial, reduced my anxieties, and really saved the day for us here in Adelaide. For a moment I was a very concerned retiree until I remembered your newsletter.

This is just one success story, but as you may have read in our Older Aussies popular scam targets article, older Australians are the primary targets of most cyber-crime. So long as we stay informed, we’ll have a better chance of avoiding these criminals and their fraudulent ways.

This week, we have been urging you all to ‘Wise Up to Scams’ and, along with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), we try to provide you with all the information you need to stay safe from crooked cons.

So, according to the ACCC, if the objectives of the 2016 National Consumer Fraud Week campaign were to:

  • raise awareness of the types of scams that target older Australians
  • educate older Australians on how to identify and avoid scams
  • provide older Australians with information on what to do if they’ve been scammed.


Then we hope we’ve assisted you all.

Here are some handy resources from the ACCC to further help you avoid being scammed.

Wise Up to Scams magnetic card
Targeting scams report on scam activity
Scam statistics

What do you think? Do our scam reports help you avoid being conned? Have you shared any of our reports with your friends and family? We’d love to hear about any successful scam sidestepping in which you may have been involved.

Related articles:?
Six scams to watch out for in 2016
New scam aimed at pensioners
Police warn of new SMS scam

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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