The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) hosts a website called Scamwatch.

The website states that its purpose is to provide consumers and small businesses with information about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.

The site goes on to say that its purpose is to help consumers recognise scams and avoid them. One suspects however that in many cases consumers may consult the website after they have been scammed. By this time, it is very probably too late.

It is nevertheless a very good resource and has a great deal of information on the various scams that are about, and particularly up-to-date information about new scams that are emerging.

There is provision to report scams and the ACCC will take in this information and take action if necessary.

There is an almost infinite variety of scams, but the website points to some of the more prominent ones – for example, scams to obtain personal information (identity theft), illegitimate online sales of goods or services, dating and romance scams, fake charities, unexpected lottery winnings scams, Nigerian scams, fake investment schemes to make money fast and computer hijacking/ransom.

Very often the elderly are targeted in the scams.

The perpetrators of the scams are most often online, and very often reside in overseas countries. Accordingly, recovery is in most cases virtually impossible. Recovery, for instance from a defaulting attorney under a power of attorney, is difficult enough when the perpetrator is known and probably lives close by. However, when you have an unidentified person outside the Australian legal jurisdictions, it would be difficult to know where to start, and any recovery action would almost always be unsuccessful.

The best way to avoid being scammed is to recognise that a scam might be being perpetrated, so as to avoid being drawn into far. Scamwatch is the best resource available to educate yourself about potential scams.

Act now, recover later

Quite often elder clients have a viable claim but the perpetrator has no assets with which to satisfy any successful claim made. It is sometimes

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