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NewsProtecting Yourself Against Email Scams

Protecting Yourself Against Email Scams

We all have received a scam email. You know the obvious one, the email that claims you were named as a beneficiary in a will from a Nigerian prince.

The prince wasn’t real of course, but the person receiving the money from those he scammed was real. He was a 67-year old man living in New Orleans, Louisiana (US) and he is now facing 269 counts of wire fraud and one account of money laundering.

The first thought of many is “how can one fall for such a scam”?

While the Nigerian prince may seem blatantly obvious, scams targeting the over fifties usually involve something you are familiar with, like your bank, and claim you have “unauthorised or suspicious activity on your account” and not royalty from other countries.

This type of email scam is called PHISHING. Phishing means that the emails are designed to look like genuine emails from an establishment you trust.

For example, if you use a bank website it would be www.yourbankname.com.au, the scammer may use www.yourbankname.com. The AU not being at the end of a website address may go unnoticed.

And that is what scammers are hoping for. Hoping you do not notice that tiny difference. That is when they may ask you to confirm your details and that’s how they end up wiping your accounts clean.

PHARMING is another scam where the scammer redirects you to a fake version of a legitimate website you are trying to visit. This is done by infecting your computer with malware which causes you to be redirected regardless if you type the real address or click on a bookmark you have saved on your computer.

WATCH FOR THESE RED FLAGS

► Emails plus text and phone calls claiming to be from a bank, telecommunications provider or other business you deal with asking you to update or verify your details

► Emails plus text that do not address you by your proper name or contain typing errors and grammatical mistakes

► The website address does not look like the address you usually use and is requesting details the legitimate website does not normally ask for

► The email address the email is from doesn’t match the website address.

► You suddenly have new icons on your computer screen that you did not install

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

♦ Do NOT click on any links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from a trusted organisation asking you to update your details. JUST PRESS DELETE.

♦ Do a search on the internet using the name and exact wording from the email or message to check for any scam references.

Look for the “lock” in the web address bar. It is now standard for most business, especially those whose websites have access to private details, to be secure. If you noticed that the HTTPS is HTTP it is not secure. Also if the lock is broken, it is not secure. If you don’t see a “lock”, look for a “key” icon at the bottom right hand corner of your browser window.

Never provide your personal, bank details, credit card, or online account details if you receive a call claiming to be from a trusted organisation. Instead ask for their name and contact number and check independently with the organisation in question.

If you have fallen victim to a scam, don’t be embarrassed. Stand up for yourself and report a scam to the organisation and to Scam Watch.

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Protecting Yourself Against Email Scams

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Diane
Diane from VIC commented:

Just wanted to add that from experience, most of the fake 'company website emails' appear identical to a genuine company email. I've learned to phone all companies I have financial connections or dealings with, and NOT open the email before doing so. Over the last few years almost every single bank or company email I've received has been a hacker sending fake emails & identity. Another thing is they will address you as simply 'dear customer' or 'dear client' but never by your full name (as they possibly haven't been able to get that yet!) As well, check your online bank accounts at least monthly - a hacker got into my 'secure, encrypted' online bank account and was milking funds each month without my even noticing it. Fortunately my Bank refunded this amount, but they have a limited period - I think 3 months - that they will cover. Try to report all fake emails as 'phishing' (in hotmail this is found in the June dropdown menu. 

Brian
Brian from NSW commented:

I AM A "FIFTY UP CLUB"SUPPORTER. WHAT VIRUS PROTECTOR DO YOU RECOMMEND? I MAINLY USE MY COMPUTER FOR EMAILS TO KEEP IN TOUCH. LANCE 

FiftyUp Club
FiftyUp Club replied to Brian:

Brian, please check out this article from PC Mag that was published on 12-July in regards to Antivirus Protection https://au.pcmag.com/antivirus-reviews-and/8949/guide/the-best-antivirus-protection-of-2018 

Diane
Diane from VIC replied to Brian:

My computer tech. advised Trend - and I've found it very good. Haven't had a virus or trojan enter since installing 2 years ago, and not too expensive either. 

Brian
Brian from NSW commented:

Apparently unsubscribing is a confirmation of an up to date email address. I spent hours unsubscribing and the junk mail got much worse, just delete anything you don't recognise. 

jeni
jeni from QLD commented:

jennie from Qld their time is money to them, so when you get a pesty phone scanner - just say 'can you hold on a minute?' - then never go back to the phone for ages, they eventfully hung up. they hate it so just keep doing it every time. great revenge on them! 

Anonymous
Anonymous from QLD commented:

Even an email from a friend, that does not contain a personal message like "Hi Joe" then it could be a worm virus. They often say things like "click on this icon for a surprise". If you do, it will replicate itself to the first 20 names in your address book. Put a false email address in your address book like this: $$You have a virus@bbb.net. This will be the first name in your book and if it ever returns to you as un-deliverable you will know you have a worm virus on your computer 

Tony
Tony from NSW commented:

The major issue I've had is with scam emails being adressed to my email name and NOT my proper name. A dead give-away. 

Anonymous
Anonymous from QLD commented:

I keep getting emails from Bitcoin and crypto teams saying I have X amount in my account and I need to contact them, I need to know if these are legitimate or scams has anybody else received these emails. 

Jack
Jack from VIC commented:

DELETE button is very handy. Also BLOCK the site 

colin / dot
colin / dot from VIC commented:

bitcon is a scam I have just retrieved my money back through my bank. 

nelson
nelson from QLD commented:

I am having trouble receiving junk mail that I cannot unsubscribe from. I have been getting 100 per day. I don't want to change my email address. 

Anonymous
Anonymous from NSW replied to nelson:

Hi Nelson, reading your comment & I also had the same problems but found up on the top heading of my emails there is a heading 'junk' & if you click on this, you can block a sending or as I have done also in some cases 'unsubscribe'. Hope this helps. Penny 

Brian
Brian from NSW replied to nelson:

Hi Nelson , i just call these emails junk and put them into junk as i have had problems also unsubscribe .then delete all of them . 

Robyn
Robyn from QLD commented:

I got a new phone one yesterday. A recorded female voice said she was from Telstra & my wi fi would be turned off immediately if I ....... Ididnt wait for the rest, just hung up.. Had another one with a very “posh” English voice .Said he was from the tax office & the police would be around if I didn’t pay my tax bill immediately. Ignored it too. The last person hung up when I said that they were being recorded. 

Dana
Dana from QLD replied to Robyn:

I had a scam Indian phone call. The minute I heard the voice, I hung up. The phone rang again, I didn't answer it; it went to the answer machine and the guy said: What's wrong bitch, don't you understand English. Scary, as one doesn't know if they have your address details, etc. 

Jack
Jack from VIC replied to Dana:

most likely they do have your name, address, phone no., DOB Unfortunately, I know these mobs PURCHASE names & address lists from "sources" - in fact, I know my details were supplied to a scammer by an Australian telecommunications company. The guy knew every detail I had supplied to that company. What brought him undone was that I had moved from the postal address! 

Lorraine
Lorraine from NSW commented:

Be very careful purchasing from an internet company calling themselves FoxStark - nit long after using them twice for small purchases - my debit card was scammed for $100+ .... fortunately there were insufficient funds for a 2nd fraudulent purchase & the transaction was rejected These scammers may not have anything to do with FoxStark per se but it was very coincidental that 2 out if 3 recent transactions were fraudulent 

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