Screen for scams
- Criminals often use email, SMS, messaging services, phone call and social media to scam people. They often do this by pretending to be a person or business you know and trust.
- If you are unsure if a message or call is truly from a person or organisation you trust, such as your bank, end the communication and find a contact method you can trust to get in touch.
For example, search an organisation’s official website for contact details or visit a store or branch in person.
- No government department or business will ever contact you and ask for your login details.
- Always be sceptical of attachments you receive, or links in an SMS.
- Be cautious of demands to act quickly, as these are a common tactic used by scammers.
- Update your apps and devices. Make sure you regularly update to the latest software versions on all apps and devices. Updates often fix security issues and weaknesses that hackers can use to access your devices or accounts. If you prefer, you can set up automatic updates which means updates will be performed as soon as they are available.
- Turn on two-factor or multi-factor authentication. This means having more than one method to prove your identity. For example, you may need your password and a code delivered via text message before you can login to your bank account.
- Set up secure passwords. Never use the same password across different accounts, make sure you keep all passwords to yourself. Try using a trusted password manager or create strong passwords yourself by using a passphrase. A passphrase is a long, unpredictable and unique combination of at least 4 words, an example would be ‘crystal onion clay pretzel’. Some websites also require numbers or symbols to be included, you can add these to your passphrase.
- Stop and think before you share anything on social media or online forums. Think about whether a cybercriminal could use that information to target you before you post.
- Check your credit card and bank account withdrawal limits. Minimising your daily transfer limits can give you additional time to pick up on scam activity before major transactions can occur. Make sure to check your bank and credit card statements regularly for anything out of the ordinary.
- If your browser tells you a website is unsafe, close the website immediately.
- Consider installing antivirus/anti malware software from a well-known reputable company.
- It is a good idea to back up your devices regularly using an external hard drive or a cloud service. This way if you ever need to recover documents/data, you can retrieve it.
- Be careful when using public Wi-Fi such as at a café or the airport. Avoid doing internet banking or online shopping on public networks.
Be ready to react
- Always act quickly if you think something is wrong
- If money or bank details are involved, call your bank straight away and let them know if you are a victim of a scam.
- Report the scam – visit Scamwatch and Report Cyber, to report scams.
- If you have been caught up in a scam, you may be caught up in a follow-up scam so be extra cautious.
- Take action to minimise being targeted in any follow-up scams. Your service providers may be able to provide additional advice, e.g. if it involves your bank account, the bank may have specific advice. Change the passwords of any online accounts or services that have been accessed.
- Seek support – being a victim of fraud or a scam can have an impact on your health.
- The Tasmanian Government’s Digital Ready program provides simple factsheets and easy-to-understand blogs on all things digital Resources | Digital Ready
- Scamwatch is run by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. It provides information to individuals and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams. Protect yourself from scams | Scamwatch
- The Australian Cyber Security Centre leads the Australian Government’s efforts to improve cyber security. Their website shares practical tips to protect yourself online along with options to report cybercrime if you are a victim. Home | Cyber.gov.au
- IDCARE is Australia’s national identity and cyber support service. Individuals and organisations can get expert advice from a specialist identity and cyber security case manager. IDCARE Official Website | Identity Theft & Cyber Support
- Translated information on cyber security is available under the ‘get ready’ section of TasALERT. This page lists a number of ways the Tasmanian community can prepare for emergencies including cyber security threats. https://alert.tas.gov.au/get-ready/cybersecurity
Being scammed is an awful experience. If you are feeling distressed or anxious, please reach out. You can contact the following 24/7 support services:
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
Lifeline 13 11 14
If there is an imminent threat to your safety call Triple Zero (000).