Scams - They're out there again

1 December 2023

My recent piece on scams certainly hit a nerve.

Together, we need to fight this insidious crime. Here are some tips to keep yourself safer.

Warning signs

  • People tell you they sent an email but you didn’t receive it.
  • Emails are classified as ‘read’ without you having read them, or emails disappear from your inbox.
  • There are strange emails in your sent folder.
  • You cannot access your email because the password is incorrect.
  • You receive unexpected password reset notifications.
  • Your email app reports sign-ins from unusual IP addresses, locations, devices, or browsers.

Protect yourself

  • Go to the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s website and check and secure your email systems as per its advice.
  • Check your email system for unexpected ‘filter rules’. In Microsoft Outlook, click on the ‘File’ tab, then click the ‘Manage Rules & Alerts’ button. Scammers can use these to hide their correspondence from compromised accounts.
  • Change email passwords regularly, and use hard-to-guess passwords. Don’t use the same or similar passwords for different services, apps or websites.
  • Contact a business by phone if you suspect you have received scam emails.

The National Anti-Scam Centre, operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), warns of a rise in business email scams targeting consumers.

ACCC established the National Anti-Scam Centre in July 2023 to facilitate cooperation and collaboration across industry and government and make Australia a harder target for scammers.

You must play your part, too. Protect yourself from scams. Remember: knowledge is power.

Words: VACC CEO Geoff Gwilym, as published in the Herald Sun 1 December 2023.

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