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Older Aussies at the mercy of cyber criminals: Top 5 cyber crimes revealed

  • December 16 2020
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Older Aussies at the mercy of cyber criminals: Top 5 cyber crimes revealed

By Cameron Micallef
December 16 2020

As consumers shift from their usual grocery runs to online shopping, a growing number of older Australians are falling victim to cyber crime, an industry expert has warned.

Older Aussies at the mercy of cyber criminals: Top 5 cyber crimes revealed

Older Aussies at the mercy of cyber criminals: Top 5 cyber crimes revealed

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  • December 16 2020
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As consumers shift from their usual grocery runs to online shopping, a growing number of older Australians are falling victim to cyber crime, an industry expert has warned.

Older Aussies at the mercy of cyber criminals: Top 5 cyber crimes revealed

Stats released by the ACCC’s Scamwatch showed that money lost to all types of scams rose to $18.7 million, up 20.2 per cent from the $15.6 million lost to scammers in October. 

The ACCC’s report showed that Australia’s older population were the target of much of the cyber crimes, with 78 per cent of the money lost belonging to those aged 55 or above. 

Proofpoint ANZ area vice-president Crispin Kerr pointed out that holidays and major events unfortunately provide an opportunity for scammers to capitalise on vulnerable members of society. 

“Statistics about the older generation being targeted are always disheartening to see. Our advice this Christmas would be to employ the same level of scepticism and awareness online that you would in any real-life business transaction,” Mr Kerr said. 

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“With phishing returning to the number one spot as the most reported type of scam, people should continue to be wary of all unsolicited communications, especially those asking for sensitive information, and remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Top 5 cyber crimes

In order to help protect vulnerable Australians from cyber crime, Jacqueline Jayne, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4 has compiled the top five most prevalent scams at Christmas, along with tips on how to avoid them.

Charity tricksters

Mr Jayne pointed out the holidays are traditionally the time for generosity and giving. It’s also the time that the cyber criminals try to trick money out of people that mean well.

TIP: Donate to charities you already know via their official website OR you call them directly.

Discounted vouchers or gift cards

She also advised consumers to be weary of the popular holiday scam of big discounts on gift cards. Don’t fall for offers from retailers or social media posts that offer phony vouchers or gift cards paired with special promotions or contests.

TIP: Only shop (online or in-store) at official or reputable places.

Fake mobile apps

Apps can sometimes bypass controls built in by the app store. Be wary of apps from unknown developers or those with limited/bad reviews.

TIP: Only use apps you know and trust and do your research before downloading a new app.

Bogus shipping or delivery

You are going to see an increase of emails and SMS notifications from Australia Post, DHL, FedEx etc and stores such as Amazon, Catch, eBay, Myer etc. Some of these will be fake and will ask you to click on a link or enter personal details to “fix the delivery issue” or “confirm the delivery address” etc.  

TIP: Only refer to official sites to confirm or track deliveries. If in doubt, call them!

Amazing deals

Remember that when a “special offer” sounds too good to be true, it usually is. There will be an increase of fake ads over the holiday season such as “Last one”, “FREE for the next 5 subscribers” and “Only 4 left in stock”.  

TIP: Never click on links in emails or pop-up ads on websites or social media pages with very deep discounts or seemingly incredible offers.

Older Aussies at the mercy of cyber criminals: Top 5 cyber crimes revealed
Older Aussies at the mercy of cyber criminals: Top 5 cyber crimes revealed
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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