Cheesman Applegarth & Partners
A few of our clients have reported that they have been the victim of scammers. The purpose of this Post is to raise awareness of a few common phone and email scams being used in Queensland at the moment and methods to keep up to date on current threats.
The most recent scams that clients have reported falling victim to are remote access scams. On these occasions the victim has received an unsolicited phone call (could also be an email) from a person claiming to be from an organisation such as Telstra, NBN Co, Microsoft or a technical support service provider. They will tell you that your computer has a problem. The scammer will request remote access to your computer to fix the problem, and then the scammer will attempt to have you buy a service, ask for bank or credit card information or have you go to your online banking while they watch. Sometimes the scammer has threatened to delete files if the victim is not compliant. These clients have then have funds disappear from accounts. From here the clients had to contact their banks to try and recover the money.
Ways to prevent falling victim to this type of scam include never give access to your computer to unsolicited callers, make sure your computer is kept up to date and has virus/malware protection that is also regularly updated. As another defence to these attacks on your PC is if they are threatening to delete files important to you turn off your internet modem or your PC ending their connection.
Common email scams that we are frequently seeing include those that appear to be from the AFP, serving a subpoena upon the recipient. There are several links in the email. The links in the email are often to malicious viruses or malware. These should not be clicked on. The AFP does not issue subpoenas via email, and recommends that you delete the email from your inbox and from your deleted folder.
This is another scam email to be aware of. The email will appear to be from Australia Post or courier claiming to have attempted to deliver a package to your residence. These are not real and the links in these emails are to locations that contain viruses and malware. Do not click the links and delete the email ASAP.
(From the Australia Post website)
Australia Post will never ask you to click on an email link to print off a label to redeem your package, email or call you to ask for personal or financial information including password, credit card details or account information, send you an email asking you to click on an attachment, email you to reconfirm your physical mailing address by clicking on a link, or call or email you out of the blue to request payment.
The main authority dealing with scams is the ACCC. They produce information on current scams and maintain the SCAMwatch (scamwatch.gov.au) website which is a great source of information on all types of scams. Also check out The ACCC YouTube channel. Below is a recording of the National Consumer Fraud Week 2015 Small business scams cybercrime forum. Hear from experts on scams.
also check out “The little black book of scams” from the ACCC. This book contains tips on how to protect yourself and what to do if you have fallen victim to a scam.
There are many sources of information online about scams these include;
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) www.accc.gov.au
Queensland Office of Fair Trading www.qld.gov.au/law/fair-trading/
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) www.acma.gov.au
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) www.moneysmart.gov.au
You can also follow the Cheesman Applegarth & Partners on Facebook or LinkedIn as we are often sharing alerts from SCAMwatch and other sources.