Ever been at the receiving end of a scam call or text message? If you have, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are a few tell-tale warning signs that you can look out for to avoid becoming a victim. Scams can range from text messages and phone calls to phishing emails from fraudsters posing as a representative of an organisation you may know, in a bid to steal your information and use it for profit.

Very close to home:

As a company, we were recently made aware of two companies operating in the United States, that also use the name Clear Sky Financial. One company is a legitimate investment advisory company.

However, the other company based in Florida, appears to offer debt collection and credit repair services, and has an F rating on the American-based Better Business Bureau.

We have added an important customer alert to our website, clearly stating that we are in no way associated with either of these two overseas companies. Clear Sky Financial Pty Ltd, is 100% Australian owned, with Australian-based Financial Advisers. We operate under Australian Financial Services Licence Number 1299668.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2021-22 an estimated 1.7 million Aussies experienced card fraud. Here are some tips to stay safe from financial scams.

Guard your personal information:

Never click on a link or text message that asks you to verify your information – even if it’s from a company you may know. If someone calls you and says they’re from your bank or insurance company, contact your provider on the official contact line to confirm their identity.

You may also consider multi-factor authentication for accounts that require a login, to provide an extra layer of protection.

Be careful who and how you pay:

Avoid paying for products on a website that doesn’t have an ABN, terms and conditions, or a privacy policy. Be sure to look out for the lock symbol to the left of a website’s URL to confirm it is secure.

Check credentials:

Always check a financial adviser or insurance provider has an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence. A licensed insurance broker or financial adviser will always provide you with a policy or statement of advice agreement in writing for you to sign electronically or in hard copy.

Grammar matters:

Look out for spelling errors in emails or unusual email addresses. Phishing emails are often poorly written, won’t have a link to unsubscribe, and come from obscure email addresses.

Grief targeting:

If a loved one has recently passed, be wary of a phone call from any insurance provider naming you as a beneficiary and claiming there is an outstanding amount you need to pay to access the benefit. Sadly, some scammers will search obituaries to find potential victims.

For financial products, one important way to stay safe is to only use trusted and registered providers. Clear Sky Financial offers accredited, professional advice on life insurance options with reputed providers. Please reach out. Our expert Team is on-hand to assist you in choosing a policy that provides peace-of-mind, and that will help you stay financially protected, now and in the future.

Information contained in this document is considered to be true and correct at time of publication. In addition, the information provided is general information only, and does not take into account any individuals’ objectives, financial situation and needs. Before acting on any information contained herein, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs.