ACMA warns consumers to watch out for fake bill scam

Emails claiming to be from Optus are the latest scam threat to watch out for.

Beware this realistic fake bill scam

Emails claiming to be from Optus are attempting to trick unsuspecting Australians into providing their credit card information to pay a supposedly unpaid bill.

A scam alert issued on Monday by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) warns it has been receiving reports about emails with the subject line – ‘We are unable to process your last payment’.

The fake emails are sophisticated and use a web address that looks like the real Optus website.

The email contains a link to a fake ‘pay your bill’ page, which then asks for your credit card details.

The fake email and payment form are cunningly crafted to trick people.

“It’s important you check the legitimacy of email links to protect your personal information –use contact details you find through a legitimate source and not those contained in the suspicious message,” ACMA advises. 

If you receive this email, ACMA is advising people to delete it immediately.

The Federal Government’s Stay Smart Online initiative offers this advice on the best ways to protect yourself from malicious email messages:

  • Don’t open messages if you don’t know the sender, or if you’re not expecting them.
  • Be suspicious of messages that aren’t addressed directly to you, or don’t use your correct name.
  • Don’t reply to or forward chain letters you receive by email.
  • Think carefully before clicking on any links or opening any attachments.
  • If a message seems suspicious, contact the person or business separately to check if they are likely to have sent the message. Use contact details you find through a legitimate source and not those contained in the suspicious message. Ask them to describe what the attachment or link is.
  • Before you click on a link (in an email or on social media, instant messages, other webpages, or other means), hover over that link to see the actual web address it will take you to (usually shown at the bottom of the browser window). If you do not recognise or trust the address, try searching for relevant key terms in a web browser. This way you can find the article, video or webpage without directly clicking on the suspicious link.
  • Ensure you have up-to-date anti-virus software installed on any device used to access email.

Have you ever been fooled by a scam? What happened?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    MICK
    15th Aug 2018
    10:06am
    I consider any email from Optus a scam.
    This bad company treated us like dirt after it disconnected us for over 2 months and refused to fix its error (negligence!) because it simply did not care. Optus even tried to blame the victim.
    Good luck to anybody who is with Optus if anything goes wrong.
    Anonymous
    15th Aug 2018
    4:44pm
    Take them to the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman. I'll say this for Optus, their prices are good. But God help you if you ever have to contact them: they're third-world morons!
    SuziJ
    15th Aug 2018
    10:55am
    Who would have any dealings with Optus in the first place? Certainly not me!
    Mary
    15th Aug 2018
    12:55pm
    I agree Optus is hopeless but who would you recommended. I fear they are all as bad as each other.
    Anonymous
    15th Aug 2018
    4:45pm
    Optus is better than the totally dreadful Vodafone.

    There needs to be a Royal Commission into the whole telco sector.
    Cowboy Jim
    16th Aug 2018
    10:06am
    If you do not mind spending some money on communications use Telstra. Still the widest coverage, wife is with Optus and has to go to the window when a call comes in. My Telstra pre-paid works even in the "little room". Been with them since the year 2000.
    KB
    15th Aug 2018
    11:06am
    Good to know about these scams as we need to keep on top of them. Spare a thought for the frail and aged who will get caught out


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