With technology becoming more accessible, intelligent and widely used, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that your personal information and data is protected from scams. There has been a growth in the number of people online as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and this has caused a proliferation of scammers targeting personal information. This increase has led to a total financial loss estimated at $91m in 2020 so far.
Top Tips to Avoid Scams
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has put together its top five tips to help protect your personal information.
- Do not feel pressured to give your personal information away to someone who has contacted you.
- When receiving unexpected emails or messages, do not click on any links, even if it seems to have been sent by a legitimate source.
- Make sure to use strong passwords for all your accounts and your internet network.
- Install antivirus software on your computer and other devices and ensure that it is kept up to date.
- Limit the personal information that is shared about yourself online, even on social media.
There has been an increase of 44% in phishing scams this year alone. Phishing scams are the most common form of scam and it is where a scammer will pose as a legitimate institution such as government departments, banks, telephone companies and other businesses in order to collect personal details which they can use to access bank accounts, superannuation and apply for loans under the stolen identity.
Common features of phishing emails or messages to look out for are:
- An offer that is too good to be true
- A sense of urgency to respond to the message
- Unusual hyperlinks within the message
- Unexpected attachments
- Unfamiliar sender
Get Legal Advice
If you think you have been scammed and need any assistance please don’t hesitate to get in contact with one of our lawyers via our contact form or call us on 02 9963 9800 for a no-obligation discussion.
More information on types of scams and how to protect yourself can be found here.
Scamwatch can also help if you wish to get help or to report a scam.