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The Australian Cyber Security Centre receives a cyber crime report every eight minutes. Since the turn of the century, cybercrime incidents have evolved to take advantage of transforming communication technologies, consumer behaviors, and working arrangements. Our response to these threats will require more cyber security experts. Cyber security incidents occur in Australia every eight minutes. But we must consider what happens during those eight minutes to comprehend their frequency and report a scam.

How many people have been contacted via SMS, email, or phone asking for personal information or money? What number of unauthorized users have accessed business networks or devices? The information of how many account holders was inadvertently accessed by cyber criminals without the account holders even knowing?

If you have been a victim of a scam or cyber security crime, steps need to be taken to report the incident. Not only is this important for law enforcement to track down the criminals, but it can also help protect yourself and your personal information. In this post, we outline the different ways in which you can report a scam or cyber security crime in Australia.

Crime Rate in Australia?

crime in australia

Over $2 billion was lost by Australians to scams in 2021, despite the ACCC’s latest Targeting Scams report showing that government, law enforcement, and industry disrupted more scam activities than ever before.

This report is based on analyzing more than 560,000 reports compiled from Scamwatch, ReportCyber, significant banks, and money remitters. Almost $1.8 billion was reported to all organizations, but the ACCC estimates that actual losses were well over $2 billion since one-third of victims do not report scams.

A report by the ACCC shows that scams are ubiquitous in Australia today. In the past five years, 96% of respondents had experienced scams, and 20% were victims. In 56 percent of cases, the lost money could not be recovered.

As part of its efforts to share intelligence, disrupt scams, and raise awareness, the ACCC expanded its partnership with government agencies, law enforcement, banks, and telecommunications providers in 2021.

Flubot scam was stopped earlier this year by an international effort involving the Australian Federal Police. A new industry code released by the telecommunications sector in 2021 resulted in blocking more than 357 million scam calls.

Most Prevalent CyberCrime in Australia

Cybercrime involving computers or online services in 2020 – 2021 accounted for nearly 23 percent of all cybercrime in Australia. Approximately 17 percent of cybercrimes are related to online shopping, followed by 12 percent by online banking scams. Identified fraud, business email compromise, extortion, investment, and selling comprise the remaining 48 percent of cybercrime.

According to the ACSC’s 2019-20 report, phishing emails pose the greatest threat to cybercrime. In recent years, cybercriminals have increasingly used SMS to extort people.

From just over $3 million last year to around $8.6 million this year, losses to SMS scams almost doubled, according to ScamWatch on the ACCC website. Similarly, the U.S. and U.K. have observed the same trend.

SMS cybercrime, especially in Australia, is attributed to phone companies’ lack of protection for SMS. In contrast, most email services now include some decent spam filters.

Logically, cybercriminals put the most effort into areas that offer the greatest reward. SMS scams are difficult to stop due to minimal spam protection, decreasing costs, and sophisticated technology that generates spoof numbers.

Online shoppers often receive tracking updates via SMS when their orders arrive, which hackers have spotted. This is why SMS scams purporting to be from delivery services like Australia Post or DHL are so common.

SMS fraud is the largest category of cybercrime victims in Australia. A fraudster dishonestly benefits from deception in almost a quarter of all reported cybercrimes.

You can mitigate the chance to report a scam with Jumpstart security. Here’s what you will achieve from us:

  • Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements

Establish a comprehensive cyber security program for regulators and customers.

  • Increase your revenue

Your cyber security policies and processes will help you win more tenders and RFPs.

  • Cost-savings in IT operations

You can use the tools you already have to implement cyber security using our smart, cost-effective recommendations.

  • Make cyberspace safer by reducing human error

By using automated awareness training and simulated phishing attacks, you can train and test your staff on a continuous basis.

  • Expertise in cyber security

Ensure that you have ready access to cyber security professionals who can provide you with day-to-day guidance.

  • Stay up-to-date

Regular notifications will let you know if your website, staff accounts, or company data has been compromised and what needs to be done to fix it.

Identifying Email and SMS Scams

sms scams

• If you receive a refund call or SMS, scammers may ask you for your financial institution and identifying information.

• To access an online service, scammers may send you a link in an SMS or email.

• A scammer creates a fake log-in page that looks real. Passwords and usernames can be stolen using these sites.

• An SMS or email may contain a link that asks you to download attachments or forms.

• To gain access to your data, they may install malicious software on your computer. Alternatively, they may keep your financial or personal information for future misuse.

• Fraudsters may use fake social media accounts to ask for money or personal information from you.

Identifying Phone Scams

identifying phone scams

• If scammers target you, you may face immediate arrest. Their purpose is to stop you from thinking clearly by making you feel scared.

• You might be asked to pay right now by scammers, and you may be kept on the line until you do

• If you hang up, you will have an arrest warrant. Threats like these get you to pay by the end of the call.

• A scammer may: send prerecorded messages (robocalls) to your phone that you did not request or leave voicemail messages asking you to call back.

• You will be told to either: avoid arrest or court by paying money or, to prevent future misuse of your TFN, transfer the funds to a safe bank account.

• Often, scammers won’t let you speak with your regular tax agent or trusted adviser. Doing this prevents anyone from telling you that it’s a scam.

• Fake tax professionals, law enforcement officers, and other officials may make conference calls with scammers. During the second call, another scammer will appear to make the call seem real and increase your fear.

• A scammer may ask for payment with iTunes, Google Play, STEAM, or another voucher. It is easy to purchase and sell these vouchers around the world. The currency (money) they represent is untraceable.

• The scammers may request payment using gift cards from retail stores such as Myer, Woolworths, or JB Hi-Fi. Currency (money) purchased with gift cards is untraceable and easy to obtain.

• scammers may request Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies directly or through ATM deposits. The difficulty of tracing this currency enhances anonymity.

• You may be asked to deposit funds into a personal bank account by scammers. Scammers may have set up an Australian-based account. The cash moves from one account to another until the money is sent offshore.

• The scammer may ask you to withdraw cardless cash from an ATM.

• Money may be requested via wire transfer offshore (where the scammers are based).

• In many cases, scammers will ask you to deliver cash via a courier service or in person at a public location.

• If you request a refund, scammers may ask for a fee. They commonly ask you to pay the fee with your credit card, and then they will steal your credit card information.

• When you cannot pay the total amount, scammers may offer payment arrangements. As a result, more payments are made, and a tremendous amount is paid.

Note: Report a scam to the ACCC using this form. Make sure to read their privacy statement before submitting it. 

Bottom Line

Australia has more resources to protect itself from cyber-attacks, but achieving cyber security will require all businesses, organizations, and individuals to adopt cyber-safe behaviors.

Although investing in monitoring tools, multifactor authentication, security awareness, and other security best practices have their merits. 

Businesses that are truly secure have a solid cyber security plan in place with a clearly defined path for addressing future security concerns. And if you are a small business looking for a quick, easy and affordable way,  Jumpstart security is here to help. 

Still thinking over the decision? Avail our free plan and test for yourself.