Protect Yourself from Threats

How Internet Scams are on the rise during Covid-19

Are you and your family safe from Internet Scams?

As we all settle in to working from home, the hackers are out there exploiting our vulnerabilities – we need to be ever more vigilant in what we are doing and the links we are clicking on.

Cybercrime is on the rise with many new COVID-19 related websites being launched (more than 50% of which are fake and being used for Phishing purposes).  Additionally there are thousands of  other Phishing scams that are circulating with the sole purpose of defrauding you of your hard earned money!

According to The Australian Governments ScamWatch there have been more than 2000 reported Coronavirus Scams in Australia alone with hundreds of thousands of dollars lost to scammers.

Avoid Phishing Scams

Fraudsters are making contact via text, email and phone calls and are impersonating myGOV, GOV, ATO, Insurance Companies and Banks.  The contact appears legitimate but providing any personal information or clicking on any links will expose you to identity theft or loss of money.

How are they targeting us?

  • Department of Health advising of COVID-19 cases in your area
  • Fake texts telling you where testing centres are in your area
  • Offers from Australian Government for financial assistance
  • ATO Tax refunds
  • ATO – Fake text about $750 payment
  • Fake Woolworths Vouchers

image source – ATO website

 How to protect yourself?

  • Never click on links on texts, emails or social media – even if you think they are legitimate – check with the sender!
  • If anyone asks for personal or financial details in a message or on the phone – do not divulge this information.
  • Never allow a stranger access to your computer (even if they say they are from Telstra or NBN)
  • If you are ever unsure – hang up or delete and contact the sender personally to verify legitimacy

Ransomware is on the rise as well.  Ransomware occurs (usually through Phishing) when the scammer infects a file on your device which self replicates, thereby slowing of stopping the functioning of the machine – the scammer then asks for a payment to remove the malware from your device.

Recently, an android tracking app called “COVID19 Tracker” masked itself as a coronavirus outbreak map tracker. It was really ransomware that could lock down a phone and demand the payment of $100 within 48 hours

(This particular website has now been taken down and there is no ongoing threat from this. This app was never available in the Play Store)

Image Source businessinsider.com.au

Whether you are using a mobile phone, tablet or computer – make sure your AntiVirus Program is a reputable one, is up to date and constantly monitoring all incoming communications.  Also check that all your key apps and sites are updated regularly

Your front door is your password – make sure its strongly locked! (HINT: Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords) – know your threats and be ever vigilant when browsing online or reading emails and texts.

For more information on Online Safety or password management check out the 30 minute TechByte Events on the website at https://cmbcomputers.com.au/events

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