Cyber Fraud and Cyber Attacks
Posted in IT
COVID-19 has caused a great deal of disruption to congregations from building closures to restricted numbers of people attending properties.
During 2020, more of us have increased our online presence than we ever would have imagined.
As a result, scammers are taking advantage of individuals through technology, attempting to infiltrate individuals and organisations to scam and access financial as well as other personal details. This is very opportunistic and concerning but there are steps that can be taken to protect private information:
- Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, ASIO NCA, Interpol or a family member or a company you do business with
- Scams succeed because they look like the real thing
- 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!
- Remain polite, but be strong enough to hang up if needed (don’t feel guilty)
- If the email / text is obviously fake, delete it. DO NOT open it
- Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails – delete them. Never use the contact details provided in the message sent to you, always independently verify these. The following link gives helpful tips on how to determine if an email is fake: https://staysafeonline.org/blog/5-ways-spot-phishing-emails/
- 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 actually is malware that will give them your passwords and personal details
- DO NOT send money via EFT, cheques, electronic transfer or give out personal information in response to a request to people you don’t know — whether it comes as a text, a phone call or an email
- Choose your passwords carefully. A strong password should be based upon multiple unrelated words and include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Do not use common passwords (further advice is available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_most_common_passwords) or the same password for every account/profile, and do not share your passwords with anyone. Using a reputable password manager is strongly recommended
- Don't agree to transfer money or goods for someone else
- Be wary of unusual payment requests. You should never pay using gift cards, iTunes cards or virtual currency such as Bitcoin
- The Australian government, the ATO, law enforcement agencies or banks DO NOT phone you to discuss legal or financial matters
- If you are not sure hang up and ring the organisation directly using an independently verified number.