Scammers are continuing to impersonate the Optus brand to scam Australians, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) which has warned that it is receiving reports of convincing-looking email scams using Optus branding.
The ACMA has warned the public about the proliferation of the “Hi Mum” text message, which may appear to be from a family member claiming to have forgotten or lost their card and asking the victim to transfer money, and could possibly be a scam.
Telecommunications company Telstra claims to have blocked around 332 million incoming scam and potentially unwanted emails to Bigpond customers—over a third (38%) of all inbound email to Bigpond accounts. To put into context: Telstra blocks 7,600 emails every minute, based on January – October 2022 figure.
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Australia’s competition watchdog, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), has called for new competition and consumer laws for digital platforms and recommended a range of new measures to address harms from the platforms to Australian consumers, small businesses and competition.
Australians are being urged to learn how to spot a scam this national Scams Awareness Week after combined losses of over $2 billion reported last year to Scamwatch, the government and the financial sector.
Australian farmers and small businesses in rural and regional areas are urged to be cautious, particularly when buying heavy machinery, following a spike in scams targeting the agricultural sector this year.
There has been a a significant rise in “Hi Mum” scams in recent months prompting a warning for the Australian public to be wary of phone messages from a family member or friend claiming they need help.
Australians have received 660 million fewer scam calls since new rules commenced in December 2020 requiring telcos to detect, trace and block scam calls, according to the telecommunications industry regulator the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has warned unsuspecting consumers to beware of scammers impersonating family members using text or WhatsApp messages to try and steal money or financial information.
Losses to imposter bond investment scams have nearly tripled in the first half of this year with consumers losing over $20 million to these sophisticated scams, according to the competition watchdog the ACCC.
Consumers have been warned about ongoing scams where scammers are impersonating well-known telecommunications or tech companies like Telstra, NBN Co and Microsoft.
Australian businesses lost $227 million to payment redirection scams in 2021, a 77% increase compared to 2020.
Scammers stole over $66 million last year from Indigenous Australians, people who identified as culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and people with disability, according to new data from the ACCC’s annual Targeting Scams report.
Phone calls were the most common contact method used by scammers to target victims in 2021, while text messages were the second-highest contact method used by scammers.
Australians lost more than $2 billion scams in 2021 despite initiatives set out by the government and the private sector, according to ACCC’s Targeting Scams report.
New industry rules for telcos will help protect consumers from the devastating impact of scams that target customer interactions with providers, which cost individual victims in Australia an average of around $28,000.
Scamwatch, a website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, urges the public to be mindful of dating and romance scams after the organisation reported a total loss of $56 million last year, up by 44%.
The Federal Government says it has taken strong action to shut down scam text messages, making an important regulatory amendment empowering the telecommunication sector to identify and block SMS scams at source.
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