Phishing scams are when scammers pretend to be from a government authority or legitimate business, sending a message in order to attempt to trick you into giving out your personal information such as bank account details, passwords and personal information.
Phishing messages can be highly convincing and lure many victims! Scammers often copy the branding used by a government agency or legitimate company so all contacts seems authentic and difficult to recognise as fraud.
Scammers may try to contact you online, over the phone, by text or even social media. Electronic phishing scams can contain malicious links and attachments designed to steal your personal and financial information.
Digital technology is transforming the world and having a significant impact on our everyday lives. Phishing scams are the most common method used by scammers therefore it’s important to practice being safe online.
Physical restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) resulted in a mass shift towards working remotely, socialising and operating in the digital environment.
With more people seeking information and accessing services online, scammers used the spread of COVID-19 to take advantage of people in a variety of phishing scams.
Stop & think
Scams often try to create a sense of urgency. Don’t rush—think about what the message is telling you to do and consider whether it’s real.
Phishing scams can take the form of fake vouchers or competitions, surveys, postal notifications, bills, account alerts, or pretend to offer information. They will always ask you to click on a link, open an attachment or provide your details.
Don’t give your personal information to unexpected callers or respond to messages and emails asking for your details, even if they claim to be from a reputable organisation or government authority—just press delete or hang up.
Don’t open or click
Don’t open attachments or click on links in unexpected texts, social media messages, pop-up windows or emails, even if it appears to come from a trusted source.
Even if you’ve previously received legitimate text messages from the same number, don’t assume all following messages are real. Scammers can ‘spoof’ real phone numbers or email addresses, to make it appear that they come from a legitimate contact.
Find & verify
If you’re unsure, contact the person, business or agency using contact details you have found independently, for example from a phone book, past bill or online search. Don't use contact details in the message, email or given over the phone.
If you need to check or update an account, such as a bank account, myGov account or any subscription service, log into your account by typing the web address into your browser or using a trusted application on your device. Never use links provided in texts or emails.