Australians urged to be wary of online shopping scams on Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday and Christmas

With the holiday season fast approaching, cybersecurity experts are urging bargain hunters to watch out for scams when shopping online.

Australians have reported losing more than $14.8 million to online shopping scams this year, according to Scamwatch.

With Black Friday and Cyber ​​​​​​Monday around the corner, cyber pundits fear losses could get much higher.

“Cyber ​​criminals and fraudsters are constantly adapting their techniques to take advantage of what’s happening,” said Mark Anderson, National Security Officer, Microsoft ANZ.

“They also target their scams at holiday periods and related special offers like Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday.”

While new laws introduced by Australia’s Communications and Media Authority have blocked more than 48 million SMS scams since July, the security expert warned the holiday season could bring new scams.

“Scammers know we’re all looking for those really good deals – especially when times are tough economically for many Australians – and they will use that knowledge to try to rip us out of our money or data,” Mr Anderson said .

The ACMA found that the most popular scam over the past three months was the Amazon impersonation scam, in which criminals posed as Amazon employees to collect sensitive data from victims.

Mr. Anderson warned that the scam could become very successful during the holiday shopping season.

Other successful online shopping scams include scammers posing as legitimate retailers through fake ads or fake websites.

Microsoft’s national security officer offered his advice on how shoppers can protect themselves online while getting a bargain.

Don’t click on links in emails

Never click on a link you weren’t expecting in an email or text message, Mr. Anderson warns. The links can be used to redirect buyers to fake websites that look legitimate.

“They will use these bogus sites to steal your money or your passwords,” he said.

Instead of clicking a link, go straight to the sender’s official website to look for relevant information.

Set up multi-factor identification

If possible, the security expert recommends setting up a two-factor or multi-factor identification system that protects your personal information.

“It just means that not only do you need to know your username and password, but you can also receive a code via text message or log into an app to prove it’s really you,” he said.

“Microsoft has found that this kills 98% of password-based attacks in the bud.”

Don’t use the same password

Using the same passwords for all of your accounts makes it much easier for scammers to access all of your information in one place.

Instead, Mr. Anderson suggests buying a password manager that lets you securely store usernames and passwords for your different accounts.

Keep your technology up to date

Updating your phone, laptop, and tablet authorizes the latest security fixes to make it harder for scammers to steal your sensitive information.

“The sooner you can update your device, the sooner you’re protected,” said Mr. Anderson.

Don’t ignore red flags

The security expert urges buyers to be aware of potential security breaches.

“Whenever you get a text or email, read it carefully to make sure it’s legitimate — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he said.

Mr Anderson said the same rule applies to enticing bargains online that could cost you more in the long run. He suggests researching the seller before buying, especially if the product is much cheaper than other sites.

Scamwatch recommends checking a site’s reviews before buying anything online.

Use secure payment methods

Scamwatch warns shoppers to always use secure payment methods like credit cards or PayPal when buying online.

Scammers often ask victims to pay with a preloaded money card, money order, or wire transfer to avoid detection and make it more difficult for the victim to recover their stolen money.

Originally posted as experts warn of online shopping scams ahead of Christmas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *