THERE has been a sharp increase in scams and attempted fraud during COVID-19, such as identity theft, romance scams, fake deliveries and fraudsters pretending to represent a company you trust, according to the Goulburn Murray Credit Union (GMCU).
Scammers have been seeking out personal information to gain access to bank accounts, cards, or to get money from contacts, family and friends. Personal information such as bank and card details or passwords, or giving remote access to your computer devices, can enable a fraudster to impersonate you for their own financial gain.
Scammers often pretend to be from government departments and businesses, like the Australian Tax Office, myGov, Telstra or the NBN, to gain your trust. Sometimes they pretend to be someone you know or try to establish a new relationship with you.
GMCU chief risk and compliance officer Brett Elgar, said, “It is important to never give personal or financial information to anyone you don’t know or trust via email, text, social media or over the phone.”
Six tips from GMCU to protect yourself online:
- Don’t be pressured into giving away any personal information by someone who has contacted you, no matter who they say they are
- Don’t click on links in unexpected emails or messages, even if it appears to have come from a legitimate source
- Use strong passwords for your accounts and internet network, and never share them with others
- Install anti-virus software on your devices and keep it up to date
- Don’t accept ‘friend’ requests or start corresponding online with someone you don’t know who contacts you out of the blue
- Limit the personal information you share about yourself online, including on social media