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Scammers are becoming more prevalent and increasingly sophisticated in the tactics they use to target vulnerable Australians. Business Advisor, Cathy Faulkner provides an insight into 7 ways you can beat scammers!
The government has noted a surge in scammers impersonating the ATO and MyGov.
Scammers aim to trick people into parting with money or sensitive personal or business information.
Common methods of scamming include emails, letters, phone calls and fake webpages.
How can we protect ourselves against digital scamming?
It’s important to use strong passwords which are difficult for scammers to guess. Avoid obvious and lazy passwords such as ‘password’ or ‘1234’. The strongest passwords combine letters, numbers and characters or are actually a pass ‘phrase’ eg; 9BlueBoots.
If you struggle to remember all your passwords and usernames, browse some of the apps available to help keep track of them.
This adds another layer of security to your accounts. For example, some multi-factor authentications require a password as well as a code that is sent to you via text message.
MyGov will never send a text, email or attachment with imbedded links that ask for personal or login details.
Avoid opening or replying to emails and online messages that look suspicious, including tests, attachments and links. Microsoft Outlook allows users to preview up to three lines of a message without actually opening it. This usually provides enough information about the legitimacy of a message without having to open it.
Unusual payment requests are a common type of scam. Don’t send money or give bank or personal details to anyone you don’t know or trust, especially when you weren’t expecting to owe or receive money.
The safest way to check whether there are any outstanding debts or lodgements in your name is to go directly to the official websites.
If you receive an email or online message that you believe is a scam, visit the staysmartonline.gov.au website which records currently known scams.
If you’re still unsure how to protect yourself online, or whether something is a scam, contact the trusted team at Altitude Advisory on email@example.com or (08) 8172 1444.
Gloria Rowett, Marion Holiday Park
Phillip Cross, Royce Cross Agencies