8 scams to watch out for over the festive season

THIS Christmas season, make sure you're spending your money on presents - not handing it over to scammers.

Scamwatch, operated by the Federal Government, has shared a list of the top eight scams we all need to watch out for to avoid being tricked out of our hard earned money.

If in doubt, contact the police and ask for advice.

Unexpected money

Scammers invent convincing and seemingly legitimate reasons to give people false hope about offers of money.

Remember, there are no get-rich-quick schemes, so always think twice before handing over your details or dollars.

Unexpected winnings

Don't let a scammer lure you in with a surprise win.

These scams try to trick you into giving money up front, or your personal information, in order to receive a prize from a lottery or competition you never entered.

Fake charities

This is especially important during the festive season when a lot of people want to give back to the charity of their choice. Scammers impersonate genuine charities and ask for donations or contact you claiming to collect money for relief efforts after natural disasters.

Dating and romance

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions.

They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.

Buying or selling

Scammers prey on consumers and businesses that are buying or selling products and services.

Not every transaction is legitimate.

Jobs and investment

If you are looking for a fast way to make money, watch out.

Scammers have invested all sorts of fake money-making opportunities to prey on your enthusiasm and get hold of your cash.

Attempts to gain your personal information

Scammers use all kinds of sneaky approaches to steal your personal details.

Once obtained they can use your identity to commit fraudulent activities such as using your credit card or opening a bank account.

Threats and extortion

Scammers will use any means possible to steal your identity or your money, including threatening your life or "hijacking" your computer.

Just in time for Christmas, scammers are also sending fake "missed delivery" emails, trying to prey on those expecting one of the millions of parcels that will be sent over the festive season.

A warning has been issued, telling people to be wary as the scams are aimed at getting people to download malware or ransomware onto their personal computers.

That can then be costly to remove, or scammers can steal personal information.

Remember, if it seems too good to be true this holiday season, it just might be.

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