Watch the 3-minute clip on – Online risks and threats

And take the test – Can you spot a scam (phishing) message?

Since the start of coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has seen a surge in COVID-19 themed scams, online frauds and phishing campaigns. The reports show that individuals, businesses, and government departments have all been affected. COVID cybercrime has some disturbing statistics.

Cybercriminals like to take advantage of vulnerable people wanting additional information during a time of crisis such as, COVID-19. It sadly provides more opportunities as people are wanting answers, cybercriminals imitate trusted, well-known organisations or government agencies to trick these unsuspecting, trusting people. They do this by using phishing emails about COVID-19 that play on people’s fears. Cybercriminals send phishing messages all the time trying to lure people into handing over their personal details. But these COVID-19 phishing messages use fake reports of virus cases and safety measures to prevent the spread as well as messages on how to get government financial assistance.  In addition, there’s has been fake information about cures and online stores selling vaccinations for COVID or protection equipment like face masks.

Phishing messages can look extremely authentic and convincing, replicating legitimate messages from trusted senders. And sent via email, SMS, social media, instant messaging platforms or phone calls. Meanwhile to trick recipients into sharing sensitive personal information from passwords to banking details, they can feature official-looking logos and disclaimers and typically include a ‘call to action.’

Phishing techniques request personal information such as name, date of birth, credit card number, or even usernames and passwords in malicious links or attachments to a potential victim.

Because cybercriminals go to great lengths to make phishing messages appear genuine, identifying these messages as fakes can be very difficult. If you are unsure if a message you’ve received is legitimate or not, there are ways to verify the message.

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