The internet has made the world a better place, but it has also given rise to online scams and cyber crime. Managing your safety online is a great start to protect yourself.
Crime Stoppers Victoria have prepared this Cybersafety Toolkit with online safety tips, but more importantly – advice on discussing cyber safety with others who might not be as experienced as you.
– articles (community groups are encouraged to use this content for their own newsletters)
– memes to share when a meme shares your message better than words
Article from The Australian 9th October 2019
by Stella Smith CEO Crime Stoppers Victoria
If you can’t see somebody’s face – it’s best not to take them at face value.
Online scammers are often professional criminals but sometimes are talented hobbyists. They can live anywhere in the world, or they could live right next door. As consumers we have been conditioned to think locally and are acting with this same level of trust and experience when we go online in the global digital marketplace. In this environment where jurisdictions are blurred and people can’t always be protected, it is important to be aware of our own behaviours that can make us vulnerable targets.
The government, banks, the ATO and various institutions have been educating the public on dealing with the latest scams, while scammers are busy developing scams that are yet to surface. The same way the mainstream hadn’t heard of phishing five years ago, 2024 will bring new scams that are enabled by new technology. So instead of highlighting each scam, we’ve taken it back to basics and have identified the emotional factors that can cause victims to fall prey to a scammer.
You know that feeling you get when you receive a final notice email or a call from a debt collector? It is a sense of urgency that floods you with the need to resolve the issue before it gets any worse. So what if you just take a second, pause, and think – do I really owe this money or do they really need those details? In most cases, even if you do believe their claims are justified – you are entitled to verify the caller. This could be as simple as hanging up the phone and calling back, to visiting the local branch. What might seem like a minor inconvenience now can save you from a lot of hassle in the future.
In the era of social media and dating apps, it’s easy to form relationships online. We’ve all got that friend of a friend who meet their partner on Tinder. We’re not saying that can’t happen, we are just saying that if you can’t see somebody’s face – it’s best not to take them at face value.
Reading this article is a great step toward understanding how to avoid being scammed. But think about all the people you know who are not reading this. It could be your father-in-law or your cousin, the reality is you can’t know what you don’t know. You can’t avoid being scammed if you don’t know the signs to look out for. So this is where you come in. Support your friends and relatives who may not be as tech savvy as you. Print out this article and give it to them. Remind them that if it looks to be good to be true, it probably is (and that the ATO definitely do not accept iTunes gift cards).
The Cyber Security Review shows that individuals who have gone through a serious life event (including the death of a family member, divorce, retrenchment etc) are more likely to fall victims to scammers. Let this serve as a timely reminder to check in with yourself, and your frame of mind, before accepting that online offer or before entering your details to receive a free eBook or game.
At Crime Stoppers we like to say, “If you see something, say something.” The same can be said about cybercrime. If you see it happening, or the potential for it to happen, say something. It’s time to back yourself and support your friends and family so they don’t become victims.
If you have been the victim of a cybercrime, you can make a report at cyber.gov.au. If you have any information about cyber criminals you can make a confidential report to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppers.com.au.
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