Highly publicised tragedies always seem to summon the most despicable of fraudsters. To the rage of many, we saw during the Australian bushfire disaster over 400 fundraiser scams being reported.
It appears the coronavirus pandemic is no different, with stories of phishing emails, fraudulent calls and text messages, and even false claims of vaccine cures.
One example sent to us is a poorly worded email which prompts the reader to receive a tax refund. The link will likely allow the scammer to steal the recipient’s MyGov or bank details.
The Australian Cyber Safety Centre (ACSC) has also flagged a scam that is circulating via social media encouraging the recipient to click a malicious link to receive virus related information.
Although older generations have always been seen as the most ‘at risk’ group to be defrauded by online scams, Gen Z has been increasingly fooled. In 2019, Australians under 25 lost over $5 million to such scams, an increase of 11% year on year – which is a significantly higher increase than any other age group.
The best piece of advice we can give if you receive a suspect communication is to simply avoid clicking links or opening attachments. Especially if you don’t know the sender.
To report a scam, visit the ACCC’s scamwatch page: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam