One in four Australians hit by cyber thieves

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Australians lost $48 million to cyber thieves between January and August, according to Stay Smart Online. And with many scams going unreported, these were the known losses from about 38,000 incidents.

Stay Smart Online says more than six million Australians – or about one in four – were affected by cyber crime last year. And in the ongoing battle to identify scams and warn consumers of tactics, scammers’ degree of sophistication presents ongoing challenges.

As it launched Stay Smart Online Week, the Australian Cyber Security Centre warned that scammers were creating more convincing fakes of real online retailers and other websites to steal personal information. 

At the same time, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging tech giants Google, Facebook and Instagram to act on the avalanche of complaints about celebrity endorsement scams on their websites – a 400 per cent increase compared with the previous year.

Deputy chair Delia Rickard said: “These tech giants must do more to quickly suspend ads, as every time consumers click on a scam ad, they are at risk of losing money.

“Most people lost between $100 and $500 and, in one case, a victim lost more than $50,000 through fake celebrity endorsement of an investment scheme.”

Scamwatch says people aged 45 and older accounted for 63 per cent of the celebrity scam losses, with women more likely than men to be a victim.

In response, Facebook said it had taken down 837 million pieces of spam between January and March.

“We also disabled about 583 million fake accounts – most of which were disabled within minutes of registration,” Facebook Australia communications chief Antonia Sanda said in a statement.

“This is in addition to the millions of fake account attempts we prevent daily from ever registering with Facebook.”

Scamwatch suggests the following protective measures:

  • When shopping online, check reviews, do your research and pay only with secure payment methods.
  • Be wary of free downloads and website access, such as music, games, movies and adult sites (as) they may install harmful programs without you knowing.
  • Always keep your computer security up to date. Only buy computer and anti-virus software from a reputable source.
  • Don’t click on any links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from your bank or another trusted organisation asking you to update or verify your details – just delete the email.
  • Choose passwords and PINs that would be difficult for others to guess, and update them regularly. Don’t save them on your phone or computer.
  • Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer.

To report a scam, complete this form.

Do you regularly update protective software? And your password? Have you been scammed? Did you report it?

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Written by Janelle Ward


Total Comments: 10
  1. 0

    Didn’t we have this same topic not long ago?.

  2. 0

    Only this morning I have heard of 3 mobile phones that have been hacked so it’s a good story to keep people alert to cyber crime.

  3. 0

    The internet providers should be able to stop these scams and the amount of spam mail we get, but they refuse to do anything about it, that is their main source of income, they are complicit in any wrongdoing. There is one company that is reported regularly and that is Dylan Whitehouse, it doesn’t matter how many complaints are made this company is the source of many email scams, spam and phishing around the world, they have an office in the US,I am not sure if it is a fake shopfront but suspect it is, no matter how many times you delete their details and send them to junk mail, the emails return almost immediately under a different name, internet providers have a way to identify these addresses, perhaps governments around the world can band together and get rid of these leeches, I won’t hold my breath

  4. 0

    I wanted to report a scam but was confronted with a ridiculous form which asked irrelevant questions and some could not be answered. they were ,however, compulsory questions. My disaster was therefore not relayed to my fellow computer users. Bureaucratic BS.

    • 0

      I have never had any trouble reporting a scam, if it is from Telstra, the police, the banks etc I ring the company and find out where to email the scam letter to or give them the phone no if it is by phone. I have had to block all overseas calls to my landline as I was getting threatening phone calls every couple of days.

  5. 0

    This was an identifiable scam. There was an item that popped up about Lisa Wilkinson leaving her job on the Project (Channel 10 ) to focus on her skin care product she is creating Argonoil skin care –(from Idrotherapy.!) . Then I read that Kylie Gillies is also leaving her programme to do the same thing. I read this one, then went back to Lisa’s, and the whole layout and wording was absolutely identical. My wife picked this up and couldn’t believe it !!

  6. 0

    It actually hurts and bring tears to my eyes when I read comments of scammed victims ripped off by BINARY OPTIONS AND FAKE HACKERS. I know actually know how it feels and hurts to lose money you have worked half of your life for to invest with the thoughts of getting returns when you are retired. It was all a scam in the end.

    STOP BEING SCAMMED BY THESE BINARY OPTIONS AND FAKE HACKERS. The Cybersecurity has had enough of complains from clients over the months who has one way or the other being a victim of the BINARY OPTION OR RECOVERY SCAMS or any desired Hacking Services. I’m willing to put an end to these unbearable swindle scheme taking over the internet and taking a step forward to render solution to those affected and help them get every penny they lost. Hack Ethics is an experienced Private Hacking and Certified Binary Recovery Expert Organization with a spare master key that no one has. Service takes just within 48 hours. Hire an Ethical Hacking Expert who’s professional and real. Specialized in any desired Hacking Services. CONTACT EMAIL OR SKYPE – [email protected]. Website –

  7. 0

    Have you gotten your bitcoins stolen from your wallet or invested in an ICO that turned out to be a scam? you are not alone because this happened to me too. I initially lost GBP257,000 in just three months from Cryptoallday and a couple of others. I contacted the authorities and they referred me to recoverywealthnow360 on google mail who helped me recover all my funds within 2 days. I’m speaking up to improve awareness of these cryptocurrency thieves and help as much as i can to reduce victims to the bearest minimum.



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