May 19, 2022
  • May 19, 2022

Scammers Targeting Flood Victims | 7NEWS

By on March 7, 2022 0

Australians who have been affected by the devastating floods that hit the country’s east coast now have something else to worry about: scammers.

As many are beginning to clean up and pick up the pieces after their businesses and homes were destroyed, many have started making insurance claims.

However, there are now reports of scammers trying to take advantage of those affected by the floods.

Pumicestone MP Ali King said she received a text message from a suspected scammer saying he would help her with her flood insurance claim.

The only problem – she didn’t ask for a complaint.

“I received a text message today from a designated person to help me with my insurance claim. I don’t have an insurance claim,” she said on social media.

Labor MP for Whitlam, Stephen Jones, also took to social media to speak out against the alleged scammer.

“We have seen the best of Australia in the huge outpouring of support for those affected by these devastating floods,” he said on Twitter.

“But scammers posing as insurance agents seek to exploit people trying to put their lives back together.”

An ACCC spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au it was still early days and they had yet to see any reports of flood-related scams, but urged Australians to remain cautious.

How to protect yourself

The ACCC said Australians should take note of several things to protect themselves from scams:

  • Do not click on hyperlinks in text/social media messages or emails, even if they appear to be from a trusted source.
  • Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls requesting personal or financial information, even if they claim to be from a reputable organization or government authority.
  • To verify the legitimacy of a contact, find it through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
  • Approach charities directly to donate or offer your support.
  • Legitimate charities are registered – you check an organization’s credentials on the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) website to see if it is a real charity.
  • Never send money or give personal information, credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know or trust.
  • If you are approached by a street collector, ask to see their ID. If you have doubts about their identity, do not pay.
  • If you are approached in person, ask the fundraiser for details about the charity, such as its full name, address and how the proceeds will be used.
  • Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that requires upfront payment by money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card, or electronic money, such as Bitcoin.

Contact your bank if you believe you have been scammed and consider filing a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority if you are unhappy with the response.

People who have been affected can now also claim the Australian government’s disaster recovery payment, which is $1,000 per adult and $400 per child.

For more information on Disaster Support and to check eligibility and apply, click here

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