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Blog | Avoiding financial scams in a modern world

Simon Curtain
Partner/Private Client Adviser
11 Feb 2021

Investment scams are on the rise. Many regulatory bodies have advised that scammers are taking advantage of unsuspecting individuals, often veiling their scams under the umbrella of Covid-19 relief.

At Hewison Private Wealth we regularly receive word from clients about scammers trying to target them for financial gain. While the vast majority of attempts are thwarted, innocent people are caught up in scams every day.

There are a number of action points you can take to protect yourself from scammers:

Ask the right questions; to check if someone is legitimate you might want to ask them:

  • What is your name and what company do you represent?
  • Who owns your company?
  • What is your address?

If they avoid answering these questions then the ‘deal’ they are offering you is probably a scam. Hang up the phone, delete and block the email or any direct messages received via social media, and stop dealing with the person. Even if they answer all these questions and you are still unconvinced or suspicious, it is better to be on the safe side and cease contact.

Protect your personal information:

  • Do not give out any personal, banking, or credit card information to anyone who makes unsolicited contact with you. Scammers can impersonate banks and even the ATO – remain vigilant. If in doubt, hang up (or delete the email) and call the institution directly to confirm the legitimacy of the request
  • Choose passwords that are hard to decipher and never share your passwords
  • Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts
  • Make sure your privacy settings are up to date on your social media accounts and share personal information with ‘friends only’. If you receive friend requests from people you don’t know, be wary as they may be trying to gain access to your information

Secure your computer and mobile device:

  • Delete and do not open any unsolicited or suspicious emails you receive, and if you have opened them, do not click on any links in these emails.
  • Install a current anti-virus program on your computer.
  • Never send personal information via text message. If you get a text message from your bank or government department asking you to follow a link, be wary. A bank will never ask you to send personal information via email or text and will never ask for your PIN number. If the caller or sender claims to be from a government agency, remember that government departments would never ask you for your personal details via email or text message. 
  • Making transactions online is the norm but pay attention to the URL (website address). Look in your navigation bar. Is the URL  http:// or https://
    http:// is ok for a regular website but if you’re purchasing online make sure it’s https://

https:// is a secured site. However, scammers can still use these sites so you still need to be careful.

Be on guard about every offer that is made to you. Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. 

The information contained in this blog was obtained from the ASIC Money Smart website (www.moneysmart.gov.au). The Money Smart is an Australian Government initiative to help increase the financial literacy of all Australians.


Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.auPlease note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.