The North Shore Area Police Command have this week reported on another two cases of online fraud in the North Shore area.
Scammers are becoming more aggressive and more sophisticated.
We recently reported about the WhatsApp Hi Mum scam.
Cybercrime Squad detectives are again reminding mobile phone users to remain vigilant, after a spike in reports by victims of the scam dubbed the ‘Hi Mum’ scam.
The “HI Mum” scam has resulted in about Two Million Dollars being transferred to scammers. One Neutral Bay parent was scammed for $10 000. Read more about the scam here.
Two More Online Fraud Cases
Two other incidents of online fraud were reported by Police this week
A Mosman man has had his financial records hacked with offenders attempting to alter the man’s tax returns so that tax refunds of around $40,000 would be sent to a nominated account.
Offenders also accessed the man’s superannuation fund and attempted to move over $200,000 to a fake superannuation account.
The victim was alerted to the fraud by his accountant. Police and the ATO fraud team are investigating the matter.
An online dealer of rare and fine wines has reported fraudulent transactions valued at over $7000.
Online orders for fine wines including Dom Perignon, Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon and Krug Grande Cuvee Gb Nv were reported to have been collected by a second courier after being delivered to the address provided, and the credit card charges for the order were later disputed and reported as unauthorised. Investigations are continuing into the matter.
Tips on How to Avoid Being Scammed Online
Scamwatch has the following tips to help you avoid scammers:
Be alert to the fact that scams exist. When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it’s over the phone, by mail, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Know who you’re dealing with. If you’ve only ever met someone online or are unsure of the legitimacy of a business, take some time to do a bit more research. Do a Google image search on photos or search the internet for others who may have had dealings with them. If a message or email comes from a friend and it seems unusual or out of character for them, contact your friend directly to check that it was really them that sent it.
Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails – delete them: If unsure, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Don’t use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.
Don’t respond to phone calls about your computer asking for remote access – hang up – even if they mention a well-known company such as Telstra. Scammers will often ask you to turn on your computer to fix a problem or install a free upgrade, which is actually a virus which will give them your passwords and personal details.
Keep your personal details secure. Put a lock on your mailbox and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing them out. Keep your passwords and pin numbers in a safe place. Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social media sites. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.
Keep your mobile devices and computers secure. Always use password protection, don’t share access with others (including remotely), update security software and back up content. Protect your WiFi network with a password and avoid using public computers or WiFi hotspots to access online banking or provide personal information.
Choose your passwords carefully. Choose passwords that would be difficult for others to guess and update them regularly. A strong password should include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for every account/profile, and don’t share your passwords with anyone.
Review your privacy and security settings on social media. If you use social networking sites, such as Facebook, be careful who you connect with and learn how to use your privacy and security settings to ensure you stay safe. If you recognise suspicious behaviour, clicked on spam or have been scammed online, take steps to secure your account and be sure to report it.
Beware of any requests for your details or money. Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust. Don’t agree to transfer money or goods for someone else: money laundering is a criminal offence.
Be wary of unusual payment requests. Scammers will often ask you to use an unusual payment method, including preloaded debit cards, gift cards, iTunes cards or virtual currency such as Bitcoin.
Be careful when shopping online. Beware of offers that seem too good to be true, and always use an online shopping service that you know and trust. Think twice before using virtual currencies (like Bitcoin) – they do not have the same protections as other transaction methods, which means you can’t get your money back once you send it. Learn more about online shopping scams.
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