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Australia Launches Scamwatch Campaign To Fight Identity Fraud

With the increase in sophistication of online scams and persistence of scammers, the most dangerous threat relates to the one that snatches a user's identity.

To fight the fair battle, the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce launched its Scamwatch campaign, early March this year.

When small business owners look out for valuable investments, the most eager ones often become the perfect fodder for various kinds of scams. These have extorted $400 million from Australians in the last six years, as per the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce.

According to David Bell, chief executive officer of the Australian Bankers' Association, while Australian banks protect their customers' accounts from fraudulent uses by deploying sophisticated systems in the right manner, it is also imperative on part of the customers to maintain vigilance. News.com.au reported this on March 12, 2007.

Education and awareness are the key weapons against cyber crime, Mr. Bell added. He reminded the fact that banks never send e-mails requiring customers to give personal security particulars like their Internet banking passwords or PINs. Customers should be alert about any such solicitation. There is a good chance that a criminal attempt is being made to access someone's bank account.

Customers can mitigate threats of fraud by adopting simple precautions every day.

A typical scam begins with an innocent phone call, most unexpected, from a salesman who says he found the number from a business directory. Then the salesman discusses an investment possibility in an upcoming company, which the call receiver could utilize. Often such companies are foreign stock exchanges. After the investor victim hands over the money, some scammers disappear with it, while others would supply shares to the investor that have least chances of success.

Based on scam researches, The Australian Securities and Investments Commission that is integrated with the taskforce has found small-sized businesses to be easy prey of such investment scams.

The Scamwatch website (www.scamwatch.gov.au) has given two reasons for the success of a scam. One the offer deal may meet the need of the investor and so appears genuine to the person and two, scammers are able to skillfully manipulate the victim.

Related article: Australian Blogger Uses Spam To Boost Blog

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