Risk Bite 14: Be Scam Aware

With more of us working from home and transacting online due to the pandemic, scams in Australia are on the increase. In 2020 alone, Australians lost $851 million to scams according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Scammers use a number of sophisticated techniques including phishing for personal information, running fake online deals and superannuation scams to con unsuspecting people.

Uniting Financial Services (UFS) has recently seen cases where clients from church entities have been contacted by scammers and raised transactions as a result.

You can stay up to date on the latest scams and ways to protect your organisation by visiting the Scamwatch website.

If you think you have been the victim of a scam, UFS recommends taking the following steps:

1. Act quickly. If you are unsure about a particular communication or request, contact your financial institution as soon as possible. They may be able to stop a transaction or close your account to protect you from further loss.

2. Change your online passwords. If you think your computer or device has been hacked or infected with malware, update the passwords on your online accounts and never use the same password twice.

3. Get support. Contact iDcare, Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and support service, who can work with you to reduce the harm from the misuse of your identity.

4. Report the crime. Scams can be reported to Scamwatch or if you have been a victim of a cybercrime such a fraud, you can report it to police through ReportCyber.