Common Scams During The COVID-19 Period

Over $3,360,000 have been lost since the outbreak of COVID-19 (Scamwatch, 2020). 

The ‘new normal’ brought many challenges with it, and scammers and cyber criminals took full advantage of this new state of living.  

Here are the most common scams we have seen in the past 6 months:

Superannuation Scam

In April, scammers took full advantage of the Government’s announcement that financially impacted individuals can have partial access to their superannuation. Scammers cold-called people asking for personal information claiming they can help them access their super accounts or that they can check on the individual’s behalf if they were eligible for benefits. 

Another tactic used were phishing texts and emails sent to gain personal information as well, with scammers attempting to use those to access the victims’ accounts.  

For more information on these scams and how to report them, view the ACCC’s fact sheet here. 

Government Impersonations

Aside from superannuation scams, cyber criminals have also been pretending to be government agencies like myGov, the ATO or the Australian Department of Health with phishing text messages or emails.  

Some samples from government impersonation scams that have been doing the rounds lately.

The messages look legitimate at first glance and look like they just aim to give information around the pandemic but are ultimately set up to gather personal information. 

Spread awareness around detecting these phishing scams, and keep your team safe by sharing our Spotting the Scam graphic with them.   

Remote Work

With quarantine measures requiring most team members to work from home, scammers have taken advantage of this isolation by sending emails requesting for access to their devices or accounts.  

Remote work has its advantages, but can leave team members open to more risk than they are exposed to in an office setting.

Normally, in an office setting, it’s easy to turn to your colleague or ask your IT provider if they sent an email asking for a password reset or access to your device. However, with team members working in their own homes, they’re more vulnerable to these types of schemes.  

Team training around email phishing schemes, or informing them of common phishing tricks, should go a long way to prevent your team members from falling for them.

Want to learn more about raising team awareness regarding cyber security? We have a 30-minute video on team training and cyber security awareness here—watch here

Practice Protect helps secure the client data of over 850+ Accounting firms. To find out what we can do for you and your team, book a free call with us here.