The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is aware of a significant increase in Australians being targeted with COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails.
These phishing emails are often sophisticated, preying on people’s desire for information and imitating trusted and well-known organisations or government agencies.
Clicking on these malicious links or visiting fake websites may automatically install computer viruses or malware and ransomware onto your device, giving cyber criminals the ability to steal your financial and personal information.
These scams are likely to increase over the coming weeks and months and the ACSC strongly encourages organisations and individuals to remain alert.
How do I stay safe?
You can protect yourself by following these simple steps:
- Read the message carefully, and look for anything that isn’t quite right, such as tracking numbers, names, attachment names, sender, message subject and hyperlinks
- If unsure, call the organisation on their official number, as it appears on their website and double check the details or confirm that the request is legitimate. Do not contact the phone number or email address contained in the message, as this most likely belongs to the scammer
- Use sources such as the organisation's mobile phone app, web site or social media page to verify the message. Often large organisations, like Australia Post, will have scam alert pages on their websites, with details of current known scams using their branding, to watch out for
If you’ve received one of these messages and you’ve clicked on the link, or you’re concerned your personal details have been compromised, contact your financial institution or the Australian Taxatio Office immediately.