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Protect Yourself from Scams and Cybercrime

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Knowledge is power when it comes to scams and cybercrime. Stay informed, protect yourself, and take action. Here’s what you need to know:

Types of Scams

Scammers are smart and use various tactics to extort money and information, causing emotional and financial harm. Familiarize yourself with different types of scams, including:

  • Attempts to gain personal information
  • Buying or selling scams
  • Dating and romance scams
  • Fake charities seeking donations
  • Investment opportunities and “foolproof” betting systems
  • Job and employment scams
  • Threats and extortion
  • Unexpected money or winnings

Learn more about these scams and more on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s Scamwatch website.

Types of Cybercrime

Cybercrime involves illegal activities directed at computers, mobile phones, or other online devices. It includes:

  • Online scams and fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Email spam and phishing
  • Attacks on computer systems
  • Distribution and possession of offensive and illegal content
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Online trading issues

For detailed information on cybercrime, visit the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) website.

Report a Scam or Cybercrime

Taking action is crucial if you’ve fallen victim to a scam or cybercrime. Here’s what you can do:

  • Report scams to the ACCC using their online form.
  • If the scam originated in NSW or you have relevant details, call 13 32 20 or make a complaint online.
  • Report specific incidents to the appropriate agencies:
    • Banking: Contact your bank or financial institution.
    • Centrelink, Medicare, child support, and myGov-related scams: Call the Department of Human Services Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk at 1800 941 126.
    • Cybercrime: Reach out to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).
    • Financial and investment scams: Contact the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
    • Fraud and theft: Call NSW Police at 131 444.
    • Image-based abuse, cyber-bullying, and illegal content: Seek assistance from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.
    • Spam: Report to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
    • Tax-related scams: Inform the Australian Taxation Office.

Recover and Protect Yourself

If you’ve been scammed or experienced cybercrime, take these steps:

  • Contact your financial institution: If you’ve shared banking details with scammers, inform your financial institution immediately. They can help mitigate further loss.
  • Change your online passwords: If your computer or device has been compromised, change passwords for all your online accounts. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Recover your stolen identity: If you’re a victim of identity theft, seek assistance from iDcare, a free government-funded service. Additionally, consider applying for a Commonwealth Victims’ Certificate for support in re-establishing your credentials.
  • Counseling and support: If you need someone to talk to, reach out to Lifeline, Beyond Blue, or the Suicide Call Back Service.

Protect Yourself Against Scammers

Stay vigilant and protect yourself from scammers using these tips:

  • Don’t respond to suspicious emails, letters, phone calls, or SMS. Delete or hang up.
  • Watch out for sophisticated tricks used by scammers, such as fake websites or posing as someone you know and trust.
  • Don’t let scammers manipulate your emotions.
  • Safeguard your personal information and only provide it through secure websites or telephone.

Stop Travelling Conmen

The Stop Travelling Conmen campaign aims to protect the Australian community from misleading and deceptive conduct. If approached by someone suspicious, call the national hotline at 1300 133 408 (8.30 am to 5.00 pm, Monday – Friday).

Stay informed, be proactive, and protect yourself from scams and cybercrime. Together, we can fight against these threats and ensure a safer online environment.

(Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC))

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