Rose Roberts
Marketing & Communications Manager
Contact West Carr & Harvey

‘Tis the season for the scammers

Last month my friend received a text message claiming to be from “Linkt” advising her she urgently needed to pay $2.30 for an overdue toll invoice. She was in a hurry, didn’t think twice about it, and handed over her credit card details. Shortly afterwards she needed to cancel her credit card as it turned out the text was a scam.

Last week, I received a text message from an unknown number which read “hi mum I’ve smashed my phone and I’m using a friend’s old one. I need to talk it’s urgent can you text me on WhatsApp on my new number please.” For a few seconds I was horrified and worried for my daughter. Then I remembered she doesn’t have a phone because she’s 8 years old. So, I immediately deleted the message. Yet another scam.

I’m sure you and many people you know will have had similar experiences. We are also aware of the recent large scale data security breaches which have recently been in the news.

It seems each day we are hearing of (and being exposed to) more and more scams. Whether it be scams for money, identity or even romance, we need to be continually on our guard!

The scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated and harder to catch, so we need to do all we can to avoid them. Importantly, from an accounting perspective, you are also likely to receive messages from scammers impersonating the ATO.

Here are some quick tips on dealing with some of the scams which are out there:

If you receive an email, text, phone call or message via social media which is requesting something from you (personal information or money) then it’s worth checking if it is legitimate.

  1. First, visit the official website (eg the ATO) or call the phone number of the organisation this message is claiming to be from.
  2. Check with the official source about the enquiry/message, rather than responding to the text or clicking on the links provided.
  3. Contact your bank if you think your credit cards or bank account may be at risk.

Additionally, as a firm West Carr & Harvey now has several communication methods. You may receive emails from us which will come from a variety of software sources including “ATO smartdocs”, “FUSEdocs” and more. If you receive some communication from us and you’re unsure if it’s legitimate, please feel free to call us to verify the information you have received.

For more info on how to protect yourself from scammers please visit the Australian Cyber Security Centre.