Teaching seniors how to fight back against scammers

nbn is helping equip older Australians with practical skills to avoid becoming a victim of a scam in a series of webinars as part of Scams Awareness Week.

Scams are getting more and more sophisticated, with many scammers masquerading as trusted authorities such as law enforcement or delivery services to trick us into parting with our money.

Each year, Scamwatch spends a week raising awareness of how scams operate in our community. This year’s Scams Awareness Week (8 to 12 November) theme ‘Let’s talk scams’ encourages us to start a conversation with our friends and family about scams, how they’ve impacted us, and how we can avoid becoming a victim of one.

As part of this, nbn is running a series of webinars aimed at arming older Australians with the skills they need to fight back against insidious scammers.

Scam Awareness Week webinars

Led by experts, these 60-minute webinars will teach practical scam prevention and ‘cyber safe’ skills including how to identify and protect yourself and your business from falling victim to a scam, setting scam-proof passwords, how to set up two-factor authentication, and how to spot common phishing and social engineering scams.

There will also be plenty of opportunities to have your questions answered during Q&As and ‘ask anything’ sessions.

You can find out more about the webinars and register via the nbn website.

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The latest scams to watch out for

Sixty-six per cent of Australians fend off a scam every week and thirty-seven per cent of us have lost money to a scam, or know a close friend or family member who has.

As many of us go online to access services as a result of COVID, scammers are changing their strategies to trick us into parting with our money.

So what are the newest scams to watch out for?

Missed delivery, call or voicemail (Flubot) scams: 

You may receive a text messages asking you to tap on a link to download an app to track or organise a time for a delivery, or hear a voicemail message. However, the message is fake, there is no delivery or voicemail, and the app is actually malicious software called Flubot that will steal your passwords and other private information. If you receive one of these messages, do not click or tap on the link. Delete the message immediately.

Visit the Scam Watch website to see examples of what this looks like and what to do if you’ve already downloaded the app. 

Fake Australian Federal Police scams:

In this scam, the scammer tells the victim they are from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and have identified suspicious activity linked to their bank accounts. They may request personal details – including Medicare number, address, and bank details – and ask their victim to deposit money into an ‘AFP account’.

Another tactic they may use is to use email and social media to target people with fake arrest warrants. The offenders then call their victims and demand payments, ordering them to deposit money into a nominated bank account, transfer crypto currency, or purchase online vouchers. Some scammers may even ask their victim to meet in public to hand over money, or to withdraw funds from their account and deposit into an ‘AFP account’.

Phone calls from scammers may sometimes appear to come from a legitimate AFP number, as the scammers have managed to mimic it to disguise their identity. Police suspect these calls are actually coming from overseas.

The AFP, Australian Government or state police services will never:

  • Ask for any account or personal details by text or email.
  • Threaten to cancel your account or arrest you if you don’t pay immediately.
  • Ask you to pay a fine with cash, crypto currency such as Bitcoin, gift cards such as iTunes or Google Play and never seek payment for fines or other matters over the phone.

If in doubt, call the AFP National Switchboard on (02) 5126 0000.

Anti-scam tips

  • If you are contacted by someone you suspect is a scammer, end the call immediately. Do not call them back on the number they called you on.
  • Never share passwords and personal information.
  • Anyone asking for a password is probably a scammer.
  • Be a sceptic when receiving unexpected email attachments, links and texts. If in doubt, delete.
  • Scammers target everyone, and they sound genuine.
  • Use up-to-date anti-virus software to protect your computer.
  • Don’t send money or personal information to people from unusual locations.
  • Report suspected scams to Scam Watch.

Source: Scam Watch