Man Wearing St Nicholas Costume And Mask Stealing Money Bag
Man Wearing St Nicholas Costume And Mask Stealing Money Bag

Cyber crooks fleecing Aussies of almost $1m a day

Cyber criminals are fleecing Australians more than $900,000 every day and the federal government's cyber-cops have warned about shopping scams in the final run up to Christmas.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre has warned of fake web pages pretending to be a well-known brand or shopping site to trick shoppers into paying for goods and services that never arrive.

Scammers have also registered a business domain name online that impersonates a legitimate company or convinces the accounts area to change the bank details of an existing supplier.

Aussies are losing almost $1m a day to scammers.
Aussies are losing almost $1m a day to scammers.

Almost one in three Australians are victims of cybercrime, Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds said yesterday.

Over 11,400 individual scams were referred to police and other law enforcement bodies in just three months this year with someone reporting a scam every 10 minutes, according to the first report by the centre, run by the Australian Signals Directorate.

One man, 35, was conned into buying a car which he thought was from a genuine online business, paying $25,000 in advance for the car and $4000 for shipping - it never turned up and nor did his money and the website disappeared.

The report said another man, 22, received a text message from what he thought was his bank indicating a problem had been detected with his account. A link in the text message took him to a fake bank login page where he provided his login and driver's licence details.

Senator Linda Reynolds. Picture Kym Smith
Senator Linda Reynolds. Picture Kym Smith

His bank account was emptied of $20,000 by cyber criminals.

The ACSC took over the cyber security role in July from the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network and said that between July and September, there were 13,672 reports of online crime with the average loss of $6000 each.

Of those, 2930 were referred to NSW Police.

"Some of the tactics that cyber criminals are adopting include sending fake emails and texts asking you to share personal information, creating fake shopping websites, and sending forged invoices to businesses," Ms Reynolds said.

"Cyber criminals are particularly active over the holiday season."

She advised people to think twice before responding to requests for personal information or money, whether by phone or email, limiting the amount of personal information posted online, including about friends and family and before buying goods or services online research the website and look at review pages.

"If it looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is," she said.