What Are Online Scams? 

Online scams are typically highly sophisticated messages that use professional logos and messaging from businesses you know. A scam can be sent through emails, SMS, social media platforms, or even video calls. These scams are often referred to as social engineering scams, which refer to scams used by criminals to exploit someone’s trust to obtain confidential information or money. It is important to be vigilant and aware of common signs of scams to avoid accidentally giving out private information. 

Who Is Most At Risk? 

Although anyone can fall victim to online scams, small to medium-sized businesses are most at risk. Smaller companies will likely have less extensive security measures and cannot train staff on common signs to look out for. Deployus wants to help ensure your business is safe from scammers and cybercriminals. We are invested in ensuring that your systems, tools, and technology are built to deliver certainty and business success. If your business does not currently have security measures, consider investing in strategies to keep your data secure and employees safe. 

Common Scams In Australia Right Now 

Phishing Attacks

Phishing is the most common scam in Australia currently. It refers to emails, SMS, or phone calls that aim to trick people into giving out personal information such as their bank details or sign in credentials to online services such as Microsoft 365 and social media sites. These calls or messages seemingly come from legitimate companies you already know of and use. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to distinguish between fake and authentic messages from these businesses.

A current scam circulating is the Linkt Toll scam alert. People are getting sent text messages saying they have a toll to pay urgently and must click a link to complete the transaction. However, this link takes individuals to a scam website that uses their banking information maliciously.

Impersonation Scams 

This type of scam involves individuals receiving a message from a family member or friend claiming that they need financial assistance and need to be sent money quickly. These messages typically come from unknown numbers, with the text stating the person has lost their phone and has a new number. These scams are often coined as the ‘Hi Mum’ scams, and many have fallen victim to them. If you get a message from a family member, try contacting them on their last known number or on a trusted social media account to attempt to confirm if they sent a message or not. 

New employees are also at risk with malicious actors utilising social engineering as a means to acquire targets. A common scan involves emails impersonating a CEO or CFO of a company to contact a new employee to acquire them gift cards urgently and for them to make contact via WhatsApp, Telegram or SMS to continue a conversation for this urgent task.  Scammers may also impersonate recruiters and prompt you to fill out forms containing sensitive information that they can then use to steal your information or personal details for malicious purposes.

It is important to validate the emails and messages you receive from a new workplace. Also, make sure the email addresses are legitimate and the recruiter has a valid LinkedIn account with all their details up to date. 

Tech Support Scams 

Scammers can trick you into accepting unnecessary tech support to fix a problem with your device or software. These scammers claim to be from tech support companies and seek to gain remote access to your device to conduct maintenance. While they have access, they may ask you to log into specific accounts, such as your bank account, to steal your details and funds. 

For example, individuals are receiving scam calls and messages from Microsoft support asking them to provide personal information and access to their computers. Never provide remote access to your computer or device without ensuring it is legitimate and comes directly from a trusted provider. If you are unsure, you can always ask the individual contacting you to provide employee information so you can validate their identity.

Signs To Look Out For 

  • Be cautious of emails that have typos, are incorrectly formatted, or come from individuals you do not know personally; they may be scams. 
  • Never give your name, bank account details, birth certificates, or any other personal information or documents to anyone online or over the phone unless for legitimate purposes. 
  • If someone contacts you for personal information, double-check that they are genuine before revealing anything. 
  • Keep up to date with the scams currently circulating so you can identify them if you ever receive suspicious emails or messages.

Have Questions? 

It is essential to stay vigilant to online scams as they become more common and more disguised. Stay up to date on current scams and if you receive a suspicious email or text, conduct a quick search online to see if it may be a scam spreading around Australia. If you need cybersecurity advice and support, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at Deployus. We create IT solutions to protect your business and employees from scammers and cyber attacks. Contact us today to learn more!