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Online Security

Scam awareness week.

17 August 2020
Online Security

Do you know how valuable your personal information is? Once lost, it can take years to recover your identity.

With more people working and socialising online during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Scamwatch has received a 55 per cent spike in reports of stolen personal information, contributing to financial losses of $91 million so far this year.

As part of Scams Awareness Week 2020, here are some top tips released by Scamwatch to protect yourself from unscrupulous fraudsters:

  • 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.
  • watch out for tell-tale 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
  • 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
  • use strong passwords for your accounts and internet network, and never share them with others
  • 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.

For more information and entertainment from a podcast series produced by Scamwatch on how to protect your identity, visit this page.

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