No matter how extensive and expensive your security and networking tools are, there’s always a risk. In a world where we are online 24/7, cyber threats are only becoming more common.
There are so many different stories of fraud in Australia, not just the dating app nightmare stories!
It’s important to be aware of what fraud types there are and how to notice the warning signs to make sure your hard-earned money is safe and sound.
Types of Fraud
Superannuation in Australia is a $1 trillion industry and it is only getting bigger. Due to this huge amount of money involved, super is commonly mixed up with criminal fraud activity. One common form of super fraud is early release scams.
Due to COVID-19, Australians were given the opportunity to have early access to a portion of their super fund. With this opportunity, there was an increase in early release scams. There were multiple reports of criminals posing as people from the ATO, your bank or your super fund to try and steal your money and personal information.
Mass marketed fraud
This is any type of fraud that uses mass media – such as emails, telephone and the internet – to communicate with you. Mass marketed fraud involves someone contacting you and making false claims to steal your money. This can be anything from an email stating you have won $1 million dollars, romance scams, or a fake bank account website asking you to enter your account details.
This is one type that most people are aware of. With new technology, card fraud has only become more complicated and more diverse. Some criminals steal your card, while others steal your personal information to successfully obtain a new credit card from your bank.
With online shopping increasing in recent years, some criminals are able to steal your credit card numbers to take your money. The invention of Apple Pay has also enabled some criminal organisations to commit fraud by electronically stealing your card details.
Protecting your money
To help make sure your money is protected as possible, we’ve compiled a list of seven things you should and shouldn’t do to make sure your finances are secure online and in real life.
1. Use strong passwords
Practicing good password management is essential to minimise cyber and hacking threats. Use a strong mix of capital letters, numbers and symbols (not just your dog’s name!), use a different password for different sites and do not share your passwords with anyone.
2. Be careful clicking on foreign attachments from emails and text messages
If you don’t recognise the sender or the attachment, don’t click on it. If something seems a bit off with the way the email is written or you get any suspicious feelings, double check the sender by clicking on the email. Quite often, the email may appear to be sent from someone you know but when you click on the sender’s name, the email is entirely different.
Technology has brought some great opportunities for all of us… including hackers and people trying to commit fraud!
3. Only enter personal and financial information on a personal, trusted device and a trusted network
When you are online banking or entering your credit card details online, make sure you are using a trusted device such as your phone or personal laptop. It’s also best to make sure you are using a private internet connection rather than the free wi-fi at your local café.
4. Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date
This is a tricky one. It can be a bit complicated learning about virus software. Sometimes it is easier to just get a professional to organise this for you. Make sure you renew this software on a regular basis to ensure the personal information you have on your devices stays personal.
5. Be careful what you share on social media
Don’t share your whole life details on social media or dating networks. As much as Facebook can be a really great way to connect with friends and family around the world, it is also easy to share too much information. This information can be compiled to commit cyber fraud.
Check your social media privacy settings, be careful who you add to your network and think twice before sharing information like where you went to school, where you work and when you’re going on holiday.
6. Monitor your bank accounts and other financial accounts such as superannuation.
This seems like an obvious one but let me ask you, when was the last time you checked your superannuation balance or looked at every single transaction from your credit card?
We use our credit cards for everything these days. With so many transactions being made daily and direct debits coming from your account, you can lose track of your money. If you do start to notice any suspicious activity in your accounts, you can contact your bank or superannuation fund to report suspicious behaviour.
7. Be careful what personal information you share through your emails or over the phone.
Always think twice before sharing your personal details (date of birth, address) or bank account details over the phone or via email. Trusted and secure organisations should always have secure ways of receiving details from you.
At Newcastle Financial Planning Group, we take your privacy very seriously and we will never ask you to transfer money via email request unless we have spoken to you in person or the transfer is between existing arrangements we already have in place with you. We value your privacy and want to make sure only you have access to your finances.
Stay cyber safe everyone!
Our office provides comprehensive financial advice from a team of specialists, ready and willing to help you achieve your financial goals. Book an initial consultation at one of our office locations in Newcastle – The Junction (NFPG), Central Coast – Erina (CCFPG), and Sydney CBD (SWA).
The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of RI Advice Group’s position and are not to be attributed to RI Advice Group. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author.
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