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Alert Priority HIGH: Widespread reports of COVID-19 malicious scams being sent to Australians

March 27th, 2020 Posted by Alerts, Featured, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “Alert Priority HIGH: Widespread reports of COVID-19 malicious scams being sent to Australians”
27 March 2020

What’s happened?
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is aware of a significant increase in Australians being targeted with COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails. 
 
In the last three months, the ACSC and the Australian Competition and the Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch has received over 140 reports from individuals and businesses across Australia. 
 
These phishing emails are often sophisticated, preying on people’s desire for information and imitating trusted and well-known organisations or government agencies. 
 
Clicking on these malicious links or visiting fake websites may automatically install computer viruses or malware and ransomware onto your device, giving cyber criminals the ability to steal your financial and personal information.
 
These scams are likely to increase over the coming weeks and months and the ACSC strongly encourages organisations and individuals to remain alert. 
 
Here are some examples of what to look out for now:
Example 1: SMS phishing scam messages offering where to get tested for COVID-19 or how to protect yourself In these examples, the SMS appears to come from ‘GOV’ or ‘GMAIL’, with a malicious link to find out where to get tested in your local area. 
 
Scamwatch and the ACSC is also aware of a SMS scam using the sender identification of ‘myGov.’ These scam messages are appearing in the same conversation threads as previous official SMS messages you may have received from myGov. 
Example 2: COVID-19 phishing email impersonating Australia Post to steal personal information
Under the pretence of providing advice about travelling to countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19, this phishing email aims to trick you into visiting a website that will steal your personal and financial information. 
Once they have your personal information, the scammers can open bank accounts or credit cards in your name, often using these stolen funds to purchase luxury items or transfer the money into untraceable crypto-currencies such as bitcoin.
  Example 3: Phishing emails pretending to be an international health sector organisation
This is an example of one COVID-19 themed phishing email where the sender is pretending to be a well-known international health organisation. The email prompts you to click on the web link to access information about new cases of the virus in your local area, or to open an attachment for advice on safety measures to prevent the spread.
 
Example 4: Phishing emails containing malicious attachments In this example, the phishing email is pretending to be from the World Health Organization and prompts you to open an attachment for advice on safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When opened, the attached file contains malicious software that automatically downloads onto your device, providing the scammer with ongoing access to your device. 
Example 5: COVID-19 relief payment scam Scammers are also sending phishing emails targeting an increasing number of Australians that are seeking to work from home, wanting to help with relief efforts or requiring financial assistance if they find themselves out of work. In this example, the email offers recipients $2,500 in ‘COVID-19 assistance’ payments if they complete an attached application form. Opening the attachment may download malicious software onto your device. How do I stay safe?The ACSC has produced a detailed report, including practical cyber security advice that organisations and individuals can follow to reduce the risk of harm.
 
You can read the report and protect yourself by following these simple steps:Read the message carefully, and look for anything that isn’t quite right, such as tracking numbers, names, attachment names, sender, message subject and hyperlinks.If unsure, call the organisation on their official number, as it appears on their website and double check the details or confirm that the request is legitimate. Do not contact the phone number or email address contained in the message, as this most likely belongs to the scammer.Use sources such as the organisation’s mobile phone app, web site or social media page to verify the message. Often large organisations, like Australia Post, will have scam alert pages on their websites, with details of current known scams using their branding, to watch out for.If you’ve received one of these messages and you’ve clicked on the link, or you’re concerned your personal details have been compromised, contact your financial institution immediately.
 More informationIf you’ve suffered financial loss from cybercrime, report it to ReportCyber at www.cyber.gov.au/report.  
 
Visit cyber.gov.au for advice to help businesses stay secure from cyber threats, whilst managing a remote workforce. 
 
To stay up to date on the latest online threats and how to respond, sign up to the Stay Smart Online Alert Service, www.staysmartonline.gov.au/alert-service.
 
More advice and support is available on our Get help page.
 
For information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit https://www.health.gov.au    The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone’s circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider. Feedback
Thank you to those subscribers who have provided feedback to our Alerts and Newsletters. We are very interested in your feedback and where possible take on board your suggestions or requests.    
 
Disclaimer
This information has been prepared by the ACSC. It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.
This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.
The Commonwealth and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.
Nothing in this information (including the listing of a person or organisation or links to other web sites) should be taken as an endorsement of a particular product or service.
Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.

More details: https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/alert-service/widespread-reports-covid-19-malicious-scams-being-sent-australians
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AirPay FinTech and Gobbill embeds Alipay & WeChat payments in media platform for 1M+ users to process Australian bills

March 24th, 2020 Posted by Alerts, Featured, Financial Management, Gobbill News, Media Releases 0 thoughts on “AirPay FinTech and Gobbill embeds Alipay & WeChat payments in media platform for 1M+ users to process Australian bills”

  • Australian fintech AirPay and bill payment automation company Gobbill to launch a new app feature for 1+ million users.
  • The “ToPay” feature is available via Chinese media app Today Australia, allowing Australian bills to be paid with WeChat Pay and Alipay.

Melbourne, Australia 24 March, 2020 – Fraud detection and payment automation company Gobbill and Chinese mobile payment company AirPay, have embedded Alipay and WeChat payments into a popular media platform to allow users to pay Australian bills with China’s favourite payment methods.

Over one million users will have the capability to pay Australian bills with WeChat Pay and Alipay, with a market-first feature called “ToPay” in popular Chinese media app, Today Australia.

The ‘ToPay’ feature will allow Today Australia users pay and categorise bills including phone, utilities, school fees, council rates and more, within a single app.

Users will also receive rewards scheme, such as discount meals via popular Asian food delivery platform Hungry Panda.

AirPay Head of FinTech Simon Tse said: “We are thrilled to announce our industry collaboration with Gobbill to provide Australian-Chinese a seamless and secure way to pay bills via smartphone. Our new payment platform “ToPay” helps us open new verticals, in addition to our wide QR payments coverage in high-end retail brands such as Gucci, Victoria’s Secret, Sneakerboy, Champion, Glue Store owned by Kering group, Valiram group, LRG group, Hanes Brands and Next Athleisure”.  

“Chinese sales across retail are down 30-50 per cent this month, and we predict it will be a difficult financial year for many companies. Our next goal is to drive one million Chinese consumers to merchants via the everyday usage of our app” said Tse.

Gobbill CEO and co-founder Shendon Ewans said: “The timing is right to bring the two technologies together to process Chinese payments in Australia. We expect the convenience of making payments through a media app and associated rewards as an advantage.”

The payments function will be enabled by Gobbill as part of the company’s growth into the broader payments sector, particularly in connecting global markets with seamless and secure payments. Using AI automation, Gobbill forensically extracts data from invoices, checks for fraud and executes the payments.

For more information, contact via email gobbill@gobbill.com.au or info@airpayfintech.com

-ENDS-

About Gobbill

Gobbill is a fraud detection and payment automation service designed for small businesses and busy households to save time, maximise cash flow and protect against scams and fraud. The end-to-end AI platform gives users control over payments with minimal effort. Gobbill forensically extracts data from invoices, checks for fraud using its proprietary “Know Your Biller™” fraud detection technology and automatically executes payments.

Cybercrime and invoice fraud has increased 7 fold in the last 3 years. UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) calls an “epidemic” of 3.8 million fraud cases reported in 2019. FBI is concerned with the issue growing to an estimated $5 trillion in losses by 2024.

Leveraging over 3 years of R&D, Gobbill can pay bills issued from over 40,000 Australian providers. The company is a Microsoft Startup sponsored company, a partner of the Australian Government’s cyber safety initiative, AI partner of Silverpond and member of Stone & Chalk. Gobbill is an Authorised Representative (1261196) of Australian Financial Services Licence Holder (448066). Gobbill’s UK office is based at the Royal Bank & NatWest FinTech Accelerator.

About AirPay Financial Technologies

AirPay is FinTech based in Melbourne with offices in Shanghai and Sydney providing one-stop mobile payment and marketing solution for merchants to accept and promote QR payments. AirPay is also integrated with Shopify to allow online retailers to accept Alipay and WeChat Pay seamlessly. The company is invested by SwiftPass Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of a China listed company and is a member of FinTech Australia.

About Today Australia

Media Today Group (also known as “Today Australia”) http://mediatodaygroup.com is Australia’s largest Chinese Internet “new media” platform delivered through an in-App experience, WeChat Official Account and WeChat Moment.

The group owns Internet media in five major cities: Sydney Today, Melbourne Today, Queensland Today, Adelaide Today, Perth Today, and two vertical Internet platforms: Australian Real Estate Today and Tourism Today.

Since its establishment on April 29, 2010, the group has been adhering to the business philosophy of “best-looking news and most practical information” and has gradually become the most influential and brand-value composite Chinese media group in the Australian Chinese community.

Gobbill appoints Andrew Jaworski as General Counsel

September 5th, 2019 Posted by Alerts, Gobbill News, Startup 0 thoughts on “Gobbill appoints Andrew Jaworski as General Counsel”

We would like to welcome Andrew Jaworski, Gobbill’s General Counsel. Andrew is an amazing Australian and UK solicitor having worked as a director at KPMG (legal), special counsel at K&L Gates and King & Wood Mallesons, Technology Lawyer at BBC Worldwide…now in the startup world. Welcome Andrew to Gobbill!

Million-dollar NDIS payments fraud affecting 70 people on disability support plans | The Australian

May 23rd, 2019 Posted by Alerts, Case Studies 0 thoughts on “Million-dollar NDIS payments fraud affecting 70 people on disability support plans | The Australian”

Five people have been arrested and luxury cars seized in western Sydney over an organised criminal syndicate suspected of defrauding the National Disability Insurance Scheme of millions of dollars.

It will be alleged the syndicate controlled three NDIS providers that fraudulently claimed $1.1 million in NDIS payments from more than 70 people on disability plans or those managing their affairs.

Investigations are ongoing, with more than 100 other potential victims identified in connection to the three entities allegedly controlled by the syndicate.

Gobbill is fighting back and is currently piloting a solution to make payments easier and safer for NDIS self-managed participants and plan managers. See https://gobbill.com/ndis

Read more The Australian

Read more ABC News

 

ACCC Scamwatch received 5000 reports of fake billing scams in the last 12months. Scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications companies via email.

April 24th, 2018 Posted by Alerts, Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “ACCC Scamwatch received 5000 reports of fake billing scams in the last 12months. Scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications companies via email.”

Beware of scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications companies

Source: ACCC Swamwatch 24 April 2018

The ACCC is warning consumers to beware of scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications providers and demanding payments.

Scamwatch has received 5000 reports of fake billing scams in the last 12 months, with reported losses of close to $8000.

“The scammers typically impersonate well known companies such as Origin, AGL, Telstra and Optus via email, to fool people into assuming the bills are real,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“They send bulk emails or letters which include a logo and design features closely copied from the genuine provider. The bill states the account is overdue and if not paid immediately the customer will incur late charges or be disconnected.”

“Alternatively, the bill may claim that the customer has overpaid and is owed a refund or it may simply say the bill is due and ready to pay,” Ms Rickard said.

New South Wales residents reported the highest number of incidents of the fake billing scam, with 1779 households reporting being victims, compared to 1275 in Queensland and 1245 in Victoria, 485 in Western Australia, 462 in South Australia, 132 in the ACT, 117 in Tasmania and 38 in the Northern Territory.

 

“Older Australians should particularly be wary of emails pretending to be from utility companies, with people over 65 reporting the most fake utility billing scam incidents,” Ms Rickard said.

“I advise consumers to contact their communications or energy provider directly via the company’s official channels to verify that the email or letter is actually from them.”

“Customers should never use the contact details provided on the suspicious email or letter but instead use an independent source to locate contact details such as a past bill or the phone book.”

In one case reported to the ACCC, a customer received a fake Telstra bill in the mail. The bill stated the customer’s account was overdue and immediate payment was needed. The customer dialled the phone number provided and was asked for his date of birth and driver’s licence number to confirm his identity.

“If customers are duped into phoning scammers they will then attempt to steal as much personal information as they can,” Ms Rickard said.

Other tips on how consumers can protect themselves:

If you receive a bill outside of your normal billing cycle, or don’t expect to receive an overdue notice, call your provider to check whether it is legitimate.
If you are not a customer of the company simply delete the email.
Never click on links or open attachments in an email from an unverified sender – they may contain a malicious virus.
Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust and never by email or over the phone.
Keep your computer secure – always update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and only buy from a verified source.

— End —

 

ACCC reports online scam losses total nearly $37 million so far in 2017. 45 to 54 y/o most likely to lose money.

October 10th, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “ACCC reports online scam losses total nearly $37 million so far in 2017. 45 to 54 y/o most likely to lose money.”

This Stay Smart Online Week (9-13 October), the ACCC is warning the community to watch out for common online scams they might encounter.

The online sphere – email, the internet, social media and mobile apps – has overtaken telephones as scammers’ preferred tool of the trade to contact potential victims. In 2017, the ACCC’s Scamwatch site has received more than 51,000 reports of scammers trying to con people online. Online scam losses total nearly $37 million so far in 2017, with people aged 45 to 54 most likely to lose money.

 

Video transcript.

“It’s difficult to spot a scammer online these days as they  go to great lengths  to trick the public and steal personal information and money,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

The top three scams that people are most likely to encounter online are:

  • Phishing – often delivered via email, scammers will pretend to be from well-known businesses and government departments to con unsuspecting victims out of their personal information and money. For example they might say they’re from Apple and you need to reset your password for security reasons, or they may offer you a gift voucher to a major supermarket for completing a ‘survey’.
  • False billing – scammers will pretend to be from a utility provider such as your phone or energy company and send you a fake bill. These scams can be very hard to pick as the fake bills scammers send look authentic.
  • Buying and selling – scammers will trick people who are looking to buy or sell goods online. For example, they may set up a fake online store that sells well-known brands at seemingly too-good-to-be-true prices; or they may set up a fake listing on a classifieds website.

Ms Rickard said there are some simple techniques members of the public can employ to avoid being stung by a scammer online.

“While scammers are often after your money, they’re also trying to steal your personal information, which is just as valuable. It’s important to safeguard your personal details online the same way you would your wallet,” Ms Rickard said.

“If you’re ever contacted out of the blue, particularly via email, by someone asking you to pay a bill, complete a survey or update your passwords, it pays to be sceptical. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

“If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of something online like a store, classified listing or email you receive, do you own research as others who have been stung by scammers will often post warnings for others. There are also plenty of very useful tips and advice at www.scamwatch.gov.au to avoid being stung by online scams,” Ms Rickard said.

Source and to see more information about Stay Smart Online Week.

Australians lost $12.5M to scams last month. Older women are the hardest hit.

September 22nd, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Financial Management, Gobbill News, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “Australians lost $12.5M to scams last month. Older women are the hardest hit.”

Gobbill processes 3 times more bills in the last month of each quarter, with installments such as council rates and some electricity bills coming up for payment. This makes this period the ideal time for scammers to target individuals with fraudulent bills.

It’s always good to keep a close eye on your email inbox. Statistics show that online scams are a growing issue, with huge losses to scams over August this year. Australians lost $12.5M in scams last month (August 2017), which is almost double compared to the same time last year. Email fraud makes up an estimated 27% of all scams, with an estimated total of $3.4M lost last month. The hardest hit by scams are older women. Apart from being aware and cautious of scams, keep yourself protected with Gobbill to help check and pay email bills.

August 2017 – Number of reports by Age and Gender

Source: Scamwatch

 

Gobbill is a partner of the Commonwealth Government Stay Smart Online program. In recent months, the Government Cyber program has issued a number of alerts of new phishing emails carrying malware. The emails pretend to come from a number of Australian institutions including Telstra, Origin Energy and AGL.

Find out more about Gobbill. It’s free to use service that protects you from email bill scams.

EnergyAustralia dragged into major phishing scam

June 21st, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “EnergyAustralia dragged into major phishing scam”

EnergyAustralia is being impersonated by cyber criminals in a malware campaign reports  IDG ARN. EnergyAustralia has become the second local energy provider caught up in a major email phishing scam after a “large volume” of malicious emails recently began hitting Australian inboxes, according to email security company, MailGuard.

The Melbourne-based company said the realistic-looking email masquerades as an invoice from the energy company, advising customers that the invoice is due in the coming days. Read more at ARN. EnergyAustralia has also issued their own warnings of the fake bills and provided advice to check on the source/sender of the email. Read more at EnergyAustralia.

 

Not happy. ATM ate his credit card. So furious finance lecturer charged bank $1000

May 31st, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Case Studies 0 thoughts on “Not happy. ATM ate his credit card. So furious finance lecturer charged bank $1000”

Source: Tom Cowie, The Age.  Photo: Jason South

A former university finance lecturer who pursued Westpac for $1000 in compensation after the bank’s ATM ate his credit card.

Dr Andrew Leung, a former finance lecturer and actuary, argues that banks do nothing for their ATM service.

“Essentially the machine shut down, it froze, went blank and then switched off. It started back up after five minutes like nothing had happened. I didn’t get the cash, I didn’t get the card.”

The Bendigo Bank customer had to rearrange his direct debits when insurance companies began sending letters telling him that his payments were overdue and his polices were in danger of being suspended. Read more at The Age.

You never know when an ATM will gobble your card.

High Alert for ransomware issued by Australian Government cyber security agency.

May 14th, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “High Alert for ransomware issued by Australian Government cyber security agency.”

Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) has today issued a high priority alert to beware of the same ransomware disrupting organisations globally, including the UK’s National Health Service.

What can you do? Keep safe by applying software updates and backing up your data regularly. Use Gobbill to check and pay your email bills. You don’t need to know if it’s a fake bill and you don’t need to click on any links. Simply forward the email to your own @gobbill.com email address and it’s taken care for you. Read more gobbill.com.au

Last week, hackers used tools believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency which has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries, disrupting Britain’s health system and global shipper FedEx. Australian Cyber Security Centre is tracking the attack campaign which goes by various names including WannaCry. It leverages known vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows patched since March 2017 making this disruption and impact preventable.

ACORN reports that they are continuing to monitor the situation closely.

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New Gobbill users can sign up for a FREE account at gobbill.com.au.

Follow us on Facebook/gobbill to receive further alerts.

 
What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that makes data or systems unusable until the victim makes a payment. In this case, cyber extortionists tricked victims into opening malicious malware attachments to spam emails that appeared to contain invoices, job offers, security warnings and other legitimate files reports The Sydney Morning Herald. 

About ACORN.

ACORN provides information on how to recognise and avoid common forms of cybercrime, such as hacking, online scams, online fraud, identity theft, attacks on computer systems and illegal or prohibited content, as well as offering advice to those who have fallen victim.