Scamwatch: Teaching students to recognise, avoid and report scams (lower secondary)

Scamwatch is a website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that provides information to consumers about how to recognise, avoid and report scams. There are some great resources on the site which you can use with students.

Under the ‘Types of scams’ section, there is information in relation to hacking, identity theft, phishing and remote access scams. I like this section as the information is clear, concise and to the point. In addition, there is a section on real life stories which makes it more meaningful for students. It would be worth while asking your students if they know of someone who has been scammed and if so, what happened?

There is also a video section which helps to explain some common scams in an easy to understand way. Video sections include; Spot social media scams, Online romance scams, Get smarter with your data, Scams warning for Indigenous consumers, Protect yourself from charity scams, Phishing (know the risk), The scam awareness alliance and Stevie’s scam school. The ‘Stevie’s Scam School’ videos are great and so is the scams warning video which features Indigenous consumers.  However, I personally think that one video is inappropriate for use in schools, the ‘Online Romance Scams’ video. As with all video content though, view yourself before viewing with a class.

When viewing the videos emphasise that people who scam others don’t always have to get money from them directly. Instead, they use a variety of strategies to trick people into giving out private information. You can use the videos to highlight this by asking students to create a list of the tricks people in the videos use to carry out a scam. They will quickly see that there are a range of tricks. I would then place students in small groups and allow them time to role play some tricks. This will make the ‘list of tricks’ more concrete.

Common Sense Media also have a PDF which you can download that provides examples of features of scam emails to looks for in emails. You can download the resource by following this LINK and scrolling down to pages 6 to 8.

I think the key strategy to use with students is to open conversations and provide ‘real life’ examples.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *