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Posts in Staysmartonline

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.

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Gobbill is featured in media across Australia

February 13th, 2018 Posted by Case Studies, Gobbill News, Internet Safety, Product Features, Startup, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “Gobbill is featured in media across Australia”

Co-founders Quentin Marsh and Shendon Ewans originally came up with the idea for Gobbill in a local pub. The initial concept was to help people pay bills on time.

However, when Shendon’s father fell victim to an email scam and lost his savings, Shendon and his brother Simon (a software engineer with Gobbill) took action. Email scams are rapidly increasing across Australia and around the world. Gobbill has now built in extra fraud protection and offers a solution for those looking to protect themselves from potential email scams.

Read the Sydney Morning Herald article.

Read The Age article.

 

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.

 

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.

National Consumer Fraud Week (15–19 May)

May 14th, 2017 Posted by Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “National Consumer Fraud Week (15–19 May)”

Source: ATO and ACCC ScamWatch

According to the ACCC, increasing numbers of Australians are encountering—and losing money to—scams on social media. If you use social media, we encourage you to be particularly alert for dating and romance scams and fake trader scams. … financial losses that are usually impossible to recover. Here are some tips from ACCC’s ScamWatch [http://bit.ly/2pEshwY] on how to protect yourself.

For businesses, the ATO says – don’t give fraudsters a chance. It’s a timely reminder to review all information security practices in your business, including storage of client information and taking stock of who has access to your systems. Implementing a few simple practices can save you money and stress. Read the ATO’s Top cyber security tips for business [http://bit.ly/2pqH5UG].

Origin Energy email scam targets tens of thousands of Aussies with fake bill

May 12th, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “Origin Energy email scam targets tens of thousands of Aussies with fake bill”

A hoax Origin Energy bill loaded with dangerous spyware has targeted tens of thousands of Australians. The well-crafted email branded with the energy provider’s official logo claimed to be an electricity bill for varying amounts, with one sighted by Fairfax Media as high as $911. Source: The Age. Read more

Example:

Beware of Google Docs phishing scam

May 4th, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “Beware of Google Docs phishing scam”

Users are warned to be aware of a reported phishing scam involving a fake invitation to share a Google Docs document.

The scam sees a user receive a legitimate-looking email that may appear to be from a trusted contact inviting them to share a document on Google Docs.

Users who click on the link are directed to screens that request permission for a malicious service to access their email account, contacts and other sensitive information. If a user grants permission, the malicious service can impersonate the user when sending messages on to other Google email users.

Users may also face the risk of having information and messages from their email accounts compromised.

The scam reportedly targets Google personal and corporate email accounts.

Click here for more information.

Source: Beware of Google Docs phishing scam | Stay Smart Online

Scammers are targeting businesses with fake ASIC renewal emails

April 24th, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “Scammers are targeting businesses with fake ASIC renewal emails”

Scammers are continuing to target Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Registry customers with fake emails that attempt to obtain money and personal information. ASIC has posted on its website an example of a scam email that claims to come from the ‘ASIC Messaging Service’ and has the subject line ‘Renewal’. The fake message appears to come from a credible email address.

The email text directs recipients to click on a link to obtain information about renewing their business or company name. However, clicking on the link risks infecting the recipients’ computer with malicious software that aims to extract money or sensitive data, or directs the recipient to a fake invoice for payment.

ASIC warns its customers to be wary of emails that do not address them by name, misspell their details and incorporate unknown attachments.

Gobbill is a partner of StaySmartOnline, a Commonwealth initiative to help protect Australian citizens and businesses from cyber related crimes.