While we're working from home and staying active online more than ever, it's important that we take the time to make sure we're protected from scammers.
Unfortunately during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reported sharp increases in scammers seeking personal information, with reports of over 24,000 cases of personal information stolen within the past year.
We've put together some handy tips to make sure you and your families as staying safe online,
Do your own research indepedantly.
- If you receive a phone call from someone you suspect is a scammer, hang up, find the organisation's number yourself and call them back. Never use a number they give you.
- Don't trust a site or an ad just because it’s advertised on social media or classified website, or claims it’s endorsed by a celebrity. Check independent reviews and be wary of offers too good to be true.
Be suspicious of anything asking for personal information, even if they're from a seemingly trusted source.
- Watch out for telltale signs of a scam in unsolicited emails and messages, like not using your correct name, typos and grammatical errors, or suspicious web addresses.
- Don't click on links in unexpected emails or messages, even if it appears to have come from a legitimate source.
Never share personal information online with someone you've never met in person.
- Don't give financial or account details, or copies of your identity documents to someone online who you’ve never met in person.
- Never give strangers remote access to your computer.
- Limit what personal information you share about yourself online, including on social media.
- Use strong passwords for your accounts and internet network, and never share them with others.
Use online tools that help you check and protect your identity online.
- IDcare’s free Cyber First Aid Kit can help you work out what to do if you think you’ve been scammed.
- Check your credit report for free using a reputable credit reference bureau at least once every year – this can help you catch any unauthorised activity.
- Install anti-virus software on your devices and keep it up to date.
Want to learn more? Visit scamwatch.gov.au for more tips, tricks and the latest scam updates.
Information sourced from scamwatch.gov.au.