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Avoiding online scams

Home / Advice Centre / 2016 / Avoiding online scams

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Avoiding online scams

With many of us shopping online, it is more important than ever before to be aware of how to safely transact online and avoid online scams. Find out how you can avoid being scammed online.

Online scams can include ‘phishing’ emails that ask you to verify personal or financial information and may look and feel as though they have been sent by financial institution or a business you regularly purchase from.

You may be purchasing on an online auction site and suddenly the seller wants to complete the purchase outside of the site, asking for your financial details to complete the transaction. Scammers are constantly innovating ways to deceive consumers but there are a few ways you can stay ahead of the game and protect yourself and your money.

How to avoid online scams

  • Check the ACCC’s Scam Watch website for up to date information regarding online scams. This site has information beyond scams related to financial services and includes information on medical, mobile phone and job scams, amongst others. http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/onlinescams 
  • Check ASIC’s Money Smart website for up to date information on known online scams. They have information a variety of scams related to the financial services industry. https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/scams/avoiding-scams 
  • Be careful when using public computers. Always log out of any sites you have logged into and avoid entering sensitive information into a public computer at all. The Mac’s Internet Kiosks have anti-virus software installed and erase the browser history when the browser window is closed. We make every attempt to keep your personal information safe when using our Internet Kiosks.
  • Be mindful when downloading free programs from the web. There can be spyware or malware (malicious software) included in the downloadable files that allow scammers to gain access to your computer, your personal information and passwords. If you notice unfamiliar icons or programs on your computer it is possible that they could be spyware.
  • Delete any suspicious emails or emails from unfamiliar businesses. If the email asks you to verify your information by entering your login information or online passwords, delete it immediately. Also avoid clicking any links within suspicious emails as well.
  • Be wary of free online offers, particularly ones that require you to enter your credit card or account details to receive them.
  • Check your account statements and credit card statements each month for suspicious or questionable transactions. Contact your financial institution immediately if you believe someone has committed fraud on your account.

Essential points:

  1. If you're not 100% sure about an online seller, don't pay them
  2. If you're not 100% sure about an email you've received, delete it
  3. If you're not 100% about an email you've received from The Mac, contact us on 1300 622 278 immediately
  4. Stay informed about current online scams at Scam Watch

Want to know more?

Remember, if you suspect fraudulent or suspicious activity on your Mac accounts, contact us immediately on 1300 622 278. You can also read more in our Security FAQ's.

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