It's important to be aware of the risks posed by cyber crime, fraud & scams.
According to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), in 2018, Australians lost in excess of $100 million in over 175 thousand scams. However, the actual figures may be even greater because of the reluctance of embarrassed or fearful victims to report them.
Victims are not all stupid & not all scammers are Nigerian lawyers wanting to transfer an inheritance to you from a long lost relative. Thousands of good, intelligent people are caught up in scams every year.
Scammers are becoming more sophisticated & their scams more elaborate. They're often very difficult for everyday people to detect. Scammers prey on the vulnerabilities of their victims - emotional insecurities, their sense of compassion, citizenship, their good & trusting nature, desire for financial security or simply the fact that their organisations are complex & they're too busy to notice suspect activities.
The most successful scams occur through phone, email, internet, social networking & in person. South Australians generally suffer these crimes less than their Eastern States cousins but still lost almost $6 million in 2018.
Scams generally fall into the following 10 categories:
1. Investment scams ($38,846,635 lost in 2018).
2. Dating & romance ($24,648,024 lost).
3. False billing ($5,512,502 lost).
4. Remote access scams ($4,762,429 lost).
5. Threats to life, arrest or other ($3,338,986 lost).
6. Online shopping ($3,278,776 lost).
7.Hacking ($3,128,908 lost).
8.Unexpected prize & lottery ($2,745,700 lost).
9. Betting & sports investment ($2,629,503 lost).
10. Classified ($2,364,745 lost).
What you need to do.
Check bona fides.
Change passwords often & use recommended password protocols.
Revise privacy & security settings regularly.
Be alert to any attempts to gain their personal information.
Double check calls or emails demanding payment of funds.
Be aware of notifications claiming that a payment has not been successful.
Notifications or emails requiring confirmation of account details may be phishing.
Check & cross-reference all invoices requesting money.
Avoid clicking links in emails from unknown sources.
Carefully check & cross reference bank account numbers before transferring funds.
Call suppliers to clarify the authenticity of invoices.
Understand that scammers don't sound like criminals.
They often sound polite & professional in order to gain trust.
Note that Rowe Partners has strong IT security systems, insurances, regular security reviews & other robust procedures in place to ensure our clients are protected from fraud, cyber crime or scams that may involve us.
It's important that you understand that you rely on your own resources & investigations to mitigate against risk.
Be aware that Rowe Partners can provide some accounting support to ascertain financial losses.
Contact Ben Webb from Webb Software on 0408 831 741 or their preferred IT provider directly if they are concerned.
Report scams to:
Police 131 444.
If relevant, the ATO on 1800 008 540
Rowe Partners on 1800 04 7693.
Any of your clients who may be affected.