Online Scams

Did you get an offer that seems too good to be true or a request to donate to a charity or institution? Perhaps you got a notification saying that you won the lottery or something? Scammers know how to press the right buttons to get what they want.

 

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What are Scams?

Scams target individuals of all backgrounds, ages, and income levels. They are modern day fraudsters trying to steal your money or personal information.

Scams are usually done by phone, SMS, or email. They look and sound very real, hoping to convince the victim to take the bait. What scammers do is they contact thousands of email addresses every day, pitching their offer or spiel. There’s a good chance that you have been contacted by a scammer at one point.

Every year, scams cost Australians millions of dollars and cause considerable harm, especially for businesses. Australian businesses reported more than $14 million in losses due to payment redirection alone scams last year. In 2019, Australians lost over $634 million to scams. The average losses so far this year are more than five times higher compared to average losses in the same period last year.




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Signs of a Scam

Most scams are designed to get your personal or financial information. Scammers will then use this information to steal money from you or commit fraud or identity theft. They might steal directly from you or use your information to commit other crimes.

Scams often look genuine and some users find it difficult to tell when something is fake. This is the scammer’s way of convincing the victim that the offer is real. But there are some common signs you can watch out for if you think the email you received is a scam:

  • You’re not expecting any email, text or phone call from someone.
  • There’s a deadline mentioned or sense of urgency.
  • There’s a promise of money or a threat of fines, debts or jail.

When you get an email or any message that you suspect to be a scam, delete them immediately and report them to ScamWatch.



Types of Scams for Businesses


COVID-19 (coronavirus) scams

Scammers take advantage of the spread of COVID-19 to scam people across Australia. Some are asking for donations to charities while others use phishing tactics to dupe people.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) scams
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Payment redirection scams

also known as business email compromise scams, scammers try to impersonate a business or their employees via email and request for money that is supposedly owed to the legitimate business.

Payment redirection scams
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Buying or selling

Scammers take advantage of consumers and businesses that are buying or selling products and services, particularly in online shopping.

Buying or selling
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Fake charities

Scammers impersonate actual charities and request for donations after natural disasters or major events, such as COVID-19.

Fake charities
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Investments

Scammers prey on users who want to earn money fast. They have invented all forms of fake money-making opportunities to get hold of your cash.

Investments
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Threats & extortion

Scammers use all sorts of threats and hijacking to steal your money or information.

Threats & extortion
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Rental scams

These scams target victims who are seeking new rental accommodation by offering fake rental properties.

Rental scams
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How to Protect Yourself and Your Business Against Scams

If you get a suspicious email claiming to be from an organization, a business, or an agency:

  • don’t open it
  • don’t click on the links
  • don’t respond
  • report it
  • delete the message

Report scams to your local consumer affairs organization, Scamwatch or the Australian Cyber Security Centre to inform others about this type of scam and help have the scammers tracked down.


How Well do you know an Online Scam?

Too many people fall Victim to an online Scam

 Australians lost over $634 million to scams in 2019



Other tips to keep in mind:

  1. Be aware of the existence of scams.
  2. Know who you are dealing with.
  3. Do not open suspicious emails, pop-up windows, or messages.
  4. Do not click on links or open attachments in suspicious emails.
  5. Keep your details secure.
  6. Keep your devices and computers secure.
  7. Pick your passwords carefully.
  8. Beware of any requests for your details or money.
  9. Be wary of unusual payment requests.
ALL OUR WEBINARS ARE FREE FOR ALL SMALL BUSINESSES.

WATCH OUR LATEST WEBINAR SO YOU DON'T FALL VICTIM TO THIS FACELESS CRIME

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“This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the Cyber Security Business Connect and Protect Program.”