As soon as the information came out about the energy rebates, another scam popped up and this time it was a link to get your $650 or $500 back straight away. That scam came through my phone. This is not the only scam that’s around at the moment. There are heaps and some of them are really sophisticated and some of them are really basic.

Nigerian princes have been replaced with really sophisticated scams.

Have you seen the phone message that starts “Hey mum I’ve damaged my phone; can you save my new number…. the next message that comes through is a desperate plea for money and it works, I have heard of people giving $15,000 to this scam. If you are the right person in the wrong state of mind it could be you too! Don’t judge.

The Tax Office calls have been really successful, after all who ever knows what goes on with tax, especially if you are self-employed. Its easy to have missed a payment or a new ruling so when the FAKE tax man calls and demands immediate payment so many people get caught.

If you get any of these calls, call back. For instance a collection agency calling you on behalf of a bank or the ATO – call the bank or ATO back.

We are getting fooled by love scams and investment scams – I had a really smart woman telling me about the video calls and conversations she was having with a very handsome Brit. Lo and behold his son became ill and she started sending money…don’t get me wrong she had met them both, ONLINE, never in person. This went on for 2 years…it was love…needless to say she was scammed.

And then there are the investment scams it is amazing how many quite sophisticated, really good, canny people are getting caught up in these.  They are complex, have websites and account managers and they are really good at playing you.

So beware and be aware, you can cut an paste a web address into scamwatch, research who you are dealing with, look online and check and triple check any investment opportunity, even if its recommended by a friend. There is more than one way to hack emails and send bogus tips.

If an investment is behaving in the opposite way to the market you are probably being scammed.  If the specific coin your investment adviser has suggested for you quadruples your money, you are probably being scammed.

There are plenty of stories about lucky shares, and overnight success, but for most of us investment is a slow burn.

There was a scam recently involving money transfers for house settlements. When you are giving or receiving account details as part of house purchases make a phone call. These need to be double checked, as there are a few stories out there of people losing vast amounts of money.

If you are transferring ANY MONEY you can’t afford to lose, call and double check the account details.

Be careful with your money, you went to a lot of effort to earn it.


Contact Phoebe

Phoebe is available for interviews, guest appearances, article commentary, and talks on a range of topics relating to property, mortgage broking, and personal finance (particularly for women!).