June 16, 2024

Online scams and fraud are on the rise, taking a new form and becoming more sophisticated. These digital swindles, once a rarity, are expanding in reach and damage.

Derived from the term ‘scamp’, a swindler, ‘scams’ have evolved from the days of the street conman to the era of the internet and smartphones.

Interestingly, residents of Narrabri shire are not immune. In fact, numerous people continue to lose money or personal data to these creative yet destructive scams.


Australians are losing millions to these online scams every year. Unfortunately, no one is exempt from being targeted. There is a constant emergence of new scam tactics while the traditional ones persist.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has further emerged as a new tool for these digital fraudsters.

The ultimate goal of these scammers is to deceive you into sharing your money or personal and financial information. They’d often impersonate individuals or institutions you trust, gaining access to your assets.

Your strongest line of defense is to be skeptical of any request for information or money. This could be a formal threat, an urgent message, or any sort of ‘call to action’.

Scammers often exploit the way we tend to respond to certain aspects:

* Authority: Scammers impersonate important figures or institutions to manipulate you into following their instructions.
* Urgency: You might be asked to respond within a strict deadline, threatening negative consequences.
* Emotion: They word their messages in a way that can incite feelings of panic, curiosity, hope, or fear.
* Scarcity: They offer something valuable or seemingly unattainable, using the fear of missing out to make you act hastily.
* Current events: They make use of relevant events or news to make their claim seem legitimate.

They often pull on your heartstrings with pleas of emergencies from kids or friends.

You can visit Scamwatch online for advice on what to lookout for and how to handle being scammed. Any scams can be reported to the service online.

If your personal or financial information gets stolen, act fast. Reach out to your bank or credit card provider immediately and halt any transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are online scams?

Online scams, or digital fraud, are deceptive practices aimed at conning individuals out of their money or sensitive personal and financial information. They utilize several manipulative tactics to accomplish this, such as exploiting known or trusted authorities, evoking urgency or fear, and capitalizing on current or popular incidents.

2. How can one protect themselves against online scams?

Skepticism is the best defense against online scams. Be wary of any requests for information or assets, especially if they’re pressuring you to act quickly. Confirm the legitimacy of the source before engaging or sharing any sensitive information. Consulting with others and performing basic internet searches can also be additional safety measures.

3. What should you do if you fall victim to an online scam?

Immediate action should be taken if you believe you have fallen victim to a scam. Contact your bank or credit card provider as soon as possible and inform them of the situation. On top of securing your accounts and halting any fraudulent transactions, report the case to online services such as Scamwatch to alert others of the crime.