Online scams hit SW each day

SOUTH West residents are being scammed daily by online fraudsters, according to Consumer Protection South West regional coordinator Annetta Bellingeri.

Ms Bellingeri – who hopes to encourage people to be more cyber secure as part of Stay Smart Online Week – said email, internet, social media and mobile apps had overtaken telephones as scammers’ preferred tool of the trade to contact potential victims.

“South West region Consumer Protection officers take daily calls from consumers and businesses reporting scams and advising of losses – in recent weeks scam losses to romance frauds have been significant,” she said.

“Scammers are getting more and more sophisticated and scams are getting harder to identify.

“This is why it is important that people are aware of the different types of scams that may target them, how the scams work and how to protect themselves.” Ms Bellingeri said scams people were likely to encounter were phishing, or emails sent by scammers pretending to be from wellknown businesses, false billing and buying and selling, where scammers tricked people looking to buy or sell goods from fake online stores and listings.

Forrest MHR Nola Marino encouraged everyone in the South West to take steps to protect their own online safety during the awareness week because anyone could fall victim to cyber crime.

“The Australian Government’s cyber security experts recommend focusing on five key areas of online safety – the privacy of your personal information, strong passwords, software updates, backing up your important data and avoiding online scams,” she said.

Visit www.scamwatch.gov.au or staysmartonline.gov.au for comprehensive online safety tips.

Source: South Western Times.