Beware of Scams and Other Internet Fraud
Compiled by Brad Errington.
List4Free Agent Services Provider.
Licenced Real Estate Agent.
Scams Are a Reality of Shopping On and Offline.
• List4Free.com.au strives to provide a safe online community, but you should always be wary of giving personal information, financial information, or payments of any kind to people you don't know personally.
Report Scam Activity to List4Free
Important: If you find a fraudulent listing, buyer or service provider on List4Free.com.au, please report your suspicions to us.
Latest scam warnings
• Read the lastest property scam warnings
Red Flags for Scams
Requests to wire funds via MoneyGram or Western Union
• Most scams involve a request to wire funds. Do not send funds to anyone you haven't met personally. Scammers create convincing reasons why they need to deal remotely. • Likewise, do not accept wire funds that you did not initiate.
Requests to pay deposits
• Do not pay purchase deposits or refund deposits with store gift cards, prepaid credit cards, purchase orders or iTunesgift cards.
• Most scams come from users in foreign countries who claim to be interested in purchasing or renting out a home. Be wary of claims from people who are contacting you from abroad because they are missionaries, U.N. workers, or in the military.
Requests for personal or financial information
• Do not provide your bank account number, Driver's Licence or Medicare Number to unknown sources. First verify it is a trusted source and then only provide this information sparingly.
Individuals claiming an affiliation with List4Free
• List4Free.com.au acts only as a source of information and is not involved in any transactions between buyers and sellers, renters and landlords or borrowers and lenders. Any such offers are fraudulent activity.
Using List4Free.com.au for money exchanges
• List4Free.com.au does not handle money exchanges or deposits between buyers and sellers or tenants and landlords.
Typos and sob stories
• Emails filled with spelling and grammatical errors are usually a sign of fraud. American spelling such as "favor" instead of "favour" is also a sign of a scam. Messages involving stories of family or financial issues, or of agents who charge too high a commission are usually fraud.
Report Scams and Fraud
• If you find a fraudulent activity on List4Free.com.au please contact us at
What to do if you believe you have been scamed?
• If you've lost money to a scam or given out your personal details to a scammer, you're unlikely to get your money back. However there are steps you can take straight away to limit the damage and protect yourself from further loss.
• When reporting scams, include as much as possible of the following: the name and address of the sender, the send location, the date and amount of the transfer, the transfer fee, the date and actual location of the receipt, the name of the receiver, any information recorded regarding the receiver's identification, the reference number for the transfer, and the details of the nature of the issue.
Contact your bank or credit union
• If you've sent money or personal banking information to a scammer, contact your bank or credit union immediately. They may be able to stop a money transfer or cheque, or close your account if the scammer has your account details. Your credit card provider may be able to perform a 'charge back' (reverse the transaction) if your credit card was billed fraudulently.
• If you're not sure if you're being scammed, stop sending money. Scammers will keep asking for more money until you stop.
Recover your stolen identity
• If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, it is important that you act quickly to reduce your risk of financial loss or other damages.
• Contact iDcare - a free government-funded service which will work with you to develop a specific response plan to your situation and support you through the process. Visit the iDcare website(link is external) or call 1300 IDCARE (432273)
• Apply for a Commonwealth Victims' Certificate - a certificate helps support your claim that you've been the victim of identity crime, and can be used to help re-establish your credentials with government or financial institutions. Visit Victims of Commonwealth identity crime(link is external)
Report scams to the authorities
• By making a report to the appropriate agency, you help them identify scammers and warn other people about the scam.
Alert List4Free.com.au to the scam
• If the scammer first made contact through a website, social media, by email or phone, please contact List4Free.com.au with the scammer’s details. Your report will help us take action to disrupt scams.
Change your online passwords
• If you think your computer or device has been hacked, you should run a full system check using a reliable virus checker. Once this is complete, you should change all your online passwords that you have used from that computer.
• If you think one of your online accounts (e.g. your bank account, email, online shopping account or social networking site) has been compromised, you should change your password immediately. Most reputable websites provide step-by-step instructions for how you can recover a hacked account.
Contact your local consumer protection agency
• While the ACCC is the national agency dealing with general consumer protection matters, state and territory agencies may also be able to assist you.
- Australian Capital Territory Office of Regulatory Services
- Consumer Affairs Victoria
- New South Wales Fair Trading
- Northern Territory Consumer Affairs
- Queensland Office of Fair Trading
- South Australia Office of Consumer and Business Affairs
- Tasmania Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading
- Western Australia Department of Commerce - Consumer Protection.
• The purpose of Scamwatch is to help you recognise a scam and avoid it where possible. Self-defence is the best defence.
• The ACCC works with state and territory consumer protection agencies and other government agencies to promote awareness in the community about scams. The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT) coordinates this work. The ACCC's role extends beyond preventing scams and includes other areas of consumer protection, infrastructure regulation, cartels and other forms of anti-competitive conduct.
• The ACCC does not give legal advice and is unable to offer assistance in individual cases or to investigate each scam reported to us.
Reporting a scam
• The ACCC and Scamwatch team greatly appreciate your contribution to the collection of scam-related data. This information is used to keep Australians informed about the latest scams in circulation.
• Your report is important to the ACCC as this information assists us in monitoring scam trends and taking action where appropriate, including working with industry and looking for innovative ways to disrupt scams.
• When you make a report, a record will be kept and you may be contacted by the ACCC if any further information is required. The ACCC doesn’t respond to reports made via the Scamwatch Report a scam form due to the high volume received.
Scam disruption project
• The ACCC is working with the ACFT, including state and territory police and consumer affairs agencies, to alert at-risk individuals to the possibility of being a victim of fraud. The project involves utilising financial intelligence to identify Australians sending funds to high risk destinations and advising them they may have been targeted by a scam.
• If you have received a letter from us, contact the ACCC using the number listed in the letter to help determine if you are being or have been scammed. Our investigators offer confidential advice and use their experience to help you decide if you or someone you know may be at risk.
• See: Scam disruption project
Targeting scams report
• The ACCC produces Targeting scams: report on scam activity annually. The report explains key trends in scam activity and highlights the impact of scams on the community. It also illustrates the cooperative work of the ACCC, other regulators and law enforcement agencies to disrupt scams and educate consumers.
• See: Targeting scams: report on scam activity
Enforcing the law
• Many scams, if tested in court, may be breaches of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). However, due to the ‘fly by night’ nature of many scammers, it is extremely difficult for government agencies to track them down and take action against them. This is further complicated by the fact that most scammers are based overseas.
• It's also possible the situation you're dealing with may not be a scam, but a transaction with a legitimate business, which is covered by the ACL. Check out the ACCC website for more information about consumer rights.
• Some scams may also be criminal offences. Someone who commits fraud has acted dishonestly or by omission to deliberately deceive someone. Fraud is regulated under various acts, including state and territory criminal legislation and under Australia’s common law. There can be overlap between misleading and deceptive conduct under the consumer protection laws, fraud and other criminal laws.
• Where an actual crime has been committed, you may wish to contact your local police, or report it to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) if the crime has taken place online. The ACORN is available for reporting cybercrime and online incidents to the police for possible investigation. Common types of cybercrime include hacking, scams, fraud, identity theft, attacks on computer systems and illegal or prohibited content.
Right to take private action
• A consumer may be able to bring a private action in the Federal Court or in a state or territory Supreme Court. If the action is successful, the remedies sought could include damages, injunctions and other orders.
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