Identity theft scams, what to look out for: Sophos

According to the ACCC, Australians have lost $16 million to identity theft so far this year and with cybercriminals targeting online user scrambling to file their tax returns, many Aussies are vulnerable to the growing sophistication of their scams.

“With so much of what we do being online, it’s important that users know how to identify a scam, protect themselves from the attack and know what to do if they’ve been involved in a scam,” a Sophos spokesperson told Telecom Times.

Sophos’ Global Solutions Engineer Aaron Bugal said that in terms of spotting scams, emails or texts urging Australians to visit a web page and enter their username, password or specific personal details were often the largest indicator of a scam.

“These web pages are most likely not really who they say they are, if it looks or feels unofficial then find the website yourself by manually typing the URL or clicking a link from a trusted web search engine, said Bugal. 

How to prevent yourself from falling prey to a phishing attack

“Be weary of anything that asks for your personal details when it doesn’t seem appropriate to provide them. For example;

  • Text messages and emails from people or organisations you aren’t expecting to hear from – question why they’d need your banking or personal details
  • Surveys – why would a survey require your email password?
  • Organisations that service you – if an organisation (such as your bank) already has your personal information, why would they be asking you for it again?”

 What to do if you’ve been involved in a scam?

Sophos suggested that if one found to have been a victim of a scam involving identity theft, consumers contact their bank immediately and change all passwords. “For additional support, you can contact IDCARE; Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support service,” it said.

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