The pandemic has brought up many unexpected effects, but one that isn’t surprising to me is the increase in scammers and fraudsters.
Scammers and fraudsters are known to exploit uncertain and chaotic times to capitalise on insecure accounts and to trick vulnerable people, costing millions to economies around the world. Indeed it was reported that 86% of global consumers fell victim to identity theft in 2020, a rise of 6% since 2019 and almost doubling in some nations.
With the increased use of online transactions and communication during the pandemic, our digital lives are becoming more exposed to scammers and fraudsters and it’s vital that you are cautious when providing your personal details on the internet. These individuals continue to develop new and inventive ways to steal innocent victims’ hard-earned money in more efficient and hidden ways.
Graham Cooke, Insights Manager at Finder, spoke of an IT security worker who, despite his area of expertise and despite knowing how to behave online, still had his identity and bank accounts stolen.
Mr Cooke advised that banks now often use second factor identity confirmation by sending an SMS confirmation, yet these can also be hacked when the scammer has access to your phone. Phones store a lot of our personal information like driver’s licence details and bank account numbers, which, when coupled with access to these second factor authentications, gives them all the access they need to highly confidential information and finances.
This is what happened to the IT security worker - his phone was stolen, and within an hour, $2000 was taken from his bank account.
Make sure you’re doing all the right things - unique passwords, authenticator apps, not sending mail directly to your home (especially if you live in an apartment), and making sure you report any suspicious activity to scam reporting sites like Scamwatch.
Here at National Crime Check we’re hearing from our clients that they are receiving scam calls and emails that use the NCC brand and product under false pretenses.
We abhor this behaviour and want to remind all clients that we will never contact you from a mobile phone number or via an automated, system-generated phone call.
When receiving emails from National Crime Check, please check the sender details and email formatting. If in doubt, contact us directly and we’ll be happy to confirm or deny any recent communications.
You can find out more about what we will and won’t do when we contact you here: https://www.nationalcrimecheck.com.au/internet_security/scams
Stay safe out there,