Category: Finance

We’ve all received them. A dodgy message about a missed delivery. A robotic-sounding phone call with some random request for information.

Some scams are easier to spot than others. But scammers can be very clever at tricking people into giving out personal information. With generative AI technologies now thrown into the mix, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant about your cyber security.

Scamwatch has already received more than 95,500 reports of scams in 2024. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said scam losses declined last year, but there was still more work to be done as Australians lost $2.7 billion.

In this article, we’ll cover what four of the most common scams are at the moment, along with what you can do to protect you, and your family from them.

Scams doing the rounds

Impersonation scams

The ACCC issued a warning earlier this year urging Australians to check payment details directly with businesses before paying an invoice, following a rise in losses due to payment redirection scams.

With this type of scam, you receive an email from a business you are dealing with and are expecting an invoice from. You pay the invoice but end up paying the scammer because they have gained access to the business email account or changed the email address and modified the payment details.

Product and service scams

Scammers have been known to set up fake websites on retailer sites, and then offer products or services at ridiculously low prices. There may be fake ads, fake reviews and a stolen Australian Business Number (ABN), making these types of scams hard to recognise. If something seems too cheap compared to competitors or too good to be true in other ways, it may be a scam. Likewise, if there’s no terms and conditions, ABN or privacy policy on the website, it may not be legitimate.

Remote access scams

With this type of scam, scammers try to convince you that you have a computer or internet problem. Sometimes the scammer will call and pretend to be from a large telecommunications like Telstra, or they may say they’re from a technical support service provider. They may say your computer has been sending error messages or that it has a virus, or mention internet connection issues. The caller will request remote access to your computer to find out what’s happened, or they may ask you to buy software to fix the problem.

Tips to protect yourself (source: ACCC)

STOP – Don’t act quickly. It’s better to take the time to call the business you are dealing with – using independently sourced contact details – to check the payment details are correct.

THINK – Ask yourself if you really know who you are communicating with. There may be legitimate-looking logos and ABNs, but scams can be sophisticated.

PROTECT – If something feels wrong and you have shared financial information or transferred money, contact your bank immediately. Report any suspected scams to Scamwatch.

You can find other tips to protect yourself and your family from scams here. Cyber security is important, so be proactive and stay informed.

How we protect our clients’ data

We understand the importance of data protection, which is why we use a cloud-based technology platform. It features security protections like multi-factor authentication, state-of-the-art encryption and security monitoring tools to protect data.

We hope that with these tips you have a cyber-safe new financial year and we look forward to helping you with all your financial needs in 2024.

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