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Avast Scamdemic Centre

Australia is in the midst of a scamdemic. Reports of cybercriminals targeting the wallets of everyday consumers are continually being reported to government scam watch services like the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch in record-high numbers as scammers become craftier with their methods and find new and innovative ways to target and obtain our personal information.

What are the numbers?

This data reflects Australians’ experience with scams. At Avast, we believe in prevention and encourage a unified effort to speak up about our experiences with scams.

Stephen Kho

What our research is telling us is that there is a disconnect between the perceived confidence of Australians when it comes to their ability to identify a scam, and the increasing volume of money being reported lost every year. It’s incredibly important that we work together to share our experiences to help others avoid falling victim.

Stephen Kho
Cyber Security Expert at Avast

Examples of recent scams

As scams become more sophisticated and targeted, it can be challenging to identify scams. We have included some examples of recent scams from everyday Australians.

Banking scams

Be wary of receiving text messages or emails from your bank requesting you to verify information

Your NAB account has been suspended, click the link below to re-verify your account https://aus1nab.info for more information

Tax scams

Be critical of requests from governmental bodies requesting you to perform an action in the form of clicking a link where the time frame is attention-seeking or alarmist.

We formally notify you. You must complete verification and update your tax information by April 26. Click on: ausato.pw to continue.

Delivery scams

Pay attention to notifications that disclose what company they are from and request an action from you through clicking a link.

Your package GK08412672AU has been put on hold because the consignee could not be contacted. Please re-delivery: https://bit.ly/3GZr1hk

People who are speaking up

Below are real accounts of everyday people who have fallen victim to everyday scams to help encourage further conversations and tackle this ever-growing issue.

How to speak to loved ones about identifying and avoiding scams

Together we can work to destigmatise the experience of being scammed so we can all live safer online lives by sharing our experiences with family and friends.
Act out scenarios
Rather than giving loved ones a list of dos and don’ts, educate them about the situations they might find themselves in. For instance – if you have an elderly loved one who uses their land line as their main form of communication, talk them through what to do if they find themselves on the other end of a suspicious caller asking for their personal details. Another tactic is to write them a refusal script with statements such as “Don’t call again” or “I don’t give out that information over the phone”.
Education is key
Share real-life examples of scams with your loved ones that you have experienced. Sharing stories will help your loved ones understand how easy it is to fall victim to often very crafty and legitimate-looking scams. Send your loved ones articles about different types of common scams and keep them informed about any scams that are currently circulating.
If unsure, then ask
Start family and friend group chats where you can share screenshots of potential scams with each other and allow members to share instances where they are not sure if they are receiving a scam or a legitimate request. It’s always ok to ask questions and to ask someone you trust for their opinion on the offer, deal, email, phone call, or SMS.
There is no shame in falling victim
It’s easy to fall into the trap of a scam. Scammers are becoming increasingly better at disguising themselves as businesses, organisations, and individuals. Remind friends and loved ones that it’s ok to question the legitimacy of something before engaging with anything they come across through their device or over the phone.
Encourage a second defence
Having an open line of communication with family and friends about scams is important and so is having up-to-date security as a last line of defence when these conversations aren’t enough. Make sure your digital security products are up to date and encourage family and friends to have the appropriate security too.

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