Seniors warned of scams and con artists

A group of residents from HammondCare’s Independent Living Units at Hammondville received a very special briefing on scams and con artists from the then NSW Minister for Fair Trading Stuart Ayers, who has since been appointed Police Minister.

Mr Ayers overall message was – ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!’At a briefing organised by the local member for Menai, Melanie Gibbons, about 30 residents heard some timely advice on ways to avoid getting caught by a range of convincing, yet potentially costly schemes.

He said seniors are particularly vulnerable to a range of scams, ranging from shonky door-to-door tradesmen, con artists on the telephone posing as bank officials and emails that attempt to extort money.

‘Don’t give you your bank account details or personal financial details to anyone and don’t send money to a stranger overseas or even in Australia’.

Australians 'incredibly trusting'

Mr Ayers said Australians are incredibly trusting, which makes them an easy target. He had a number of warnings about particular scams. One notifies a person that they have been named in a mystery inheritance and they are asked to send $5,000 to release it. They money never turns up. Another is an email purporting to come from the Australian Taxation Office, asking for bank details. It looks so convincing that it even uses ATO web links.

At the Hammondville briefing, there were many questions to Mr Ayers and Ms Gibbons from a highly engaged audience.

The Department of Fair Trading advice line is 133220