Illegal ads that ask for personal or financial information occasionally appear on online classified sites. Sometimes emails are also sent by people masquerading as advertisers requesting that you supply personal details.
What to look out for
Be wary of advertisers requesting the following information in their ad :
- Bank or credit card details
- Drivers licence information
- Tax File Number
- Non business-related personal information, such as your appearance, marital status
Business opportunities that seem to good to be true, usually are. Avoid business sellers who ask you to:
- Forward, transfer, or 'wire' money to another person using a personal bank account
- Transfer money and retain a portion for payment
- Pay an up front fee for 'processing' your application
- Start a business without any contact (either in person or by phone)
- Promise guaranteed or very large returns.
The following business types should be treated with caution:
- 'Work from home' businesses
- Online sports betting
- Foreign Exchange or share trading related
- Certain types of Vending machines
- Businesses that don't specify exactly what their products or services are selling
What to do if you suspect an ad is not legitimate
If you have any concerns about the legitimacy of an ad on SEEK Business:
- Use the 'Report this Ad to SEEK' link in the enquiry form of the ad to alert us.
- Look the company up in the White Pages or Yellow pages and call their phone number to verify the ad
- Look the company up in a Google search. Look at all of the search results, especially past the first search results page.
- Visit the advertisers website. Do they list a street address and an ABN?
- If their ABN is listed, perform a search on it on the business.gov.au website to confirm it's authenticity.
- If you are located in the same city as the advertiser and are interested in their opportunity, ask to meet them at their offices to discuss. If the advertiser declines and offers to meet in a public space, proceed with caution!
If you feel you may have been the victim of fraud contact the Australian Federal Police
. Helpful resources
– ASIC acts against financial scams, including online schemes. Scamwatch
- Types of scams and what you can do to protect yourself.