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Brilliant Money Solutions | Tax Agent | Accountants | Business Advisors
Brilliant Money Solutions | Tax Agent | Accountants | Business Advisors

Latest Scam Warning



June 2015 Scam Warning
SCAMwatch is warning of phone calls from scammers claiming to collect debts

Recently scammers have been cold calling, claiming to be from energy providers,telecommunication providers or even government departments. Scamwatch have received reports of these phone calls demanding payments for overdue accounts and using the threat of disconnection to try to convince people to pay. These calls are targeting both individuals and businesses.

On some occasions it has been reported that the caller was from Centrelink and that pension payments would be stopped unless the debt was paid. Other examples include threats of arrest or court action for unpaid fines or bills or the threat of disconnection to essential services. What appears to be common to all
these scams is the use of threats to create a sense of urgency so the recipient of the call doesn't have the time to check the authenticity of the demand.

If you receive any phone calls claiming you owe money for your energy or phone bill you should investigate this independently. You should call your provider using the phone number found on your bills or on their website. Do not provide any personal or financial details over the phone.

How these scams work

· You receive an unexpected phone call from a person claiming you owe money for your phone or energy bill.
· The phone numbers they use will appear local but this doesn't make the demand any more legitimate.
· The caller may be very threatening saying that if you do not pay you will be disconnected, receive a fine or your government benefits will cease.
· The scammer will provide some bank account details that they want you to pay to or ask you to pay by wire transfer.

Protect yourself

· If you receive a phone call asking to pay an overdue account, check its legitimacy by contacting your supplier using telephone numbers you know from bills you have received, the phone book or that you have found independently from an online search.
· Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
· If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
· Do not send money via a wire transfer to pay a bill.

Report
You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch
report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.


How to spot and avoid credit card skimmers



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Small Business warned to watch out for Ransomware

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning small business operators to think twice before opening email files that could contain ransomware after the latest Targeting Scams Report revealed that almost $1 million was lost to these scams last year.

Ransomware is a type of malware that infects a computer system by restricting access unless a ransom is paid to a scammer for the restriction to be removed.

"The ACCC received over 2,500 ransomware and malware complaints last year with over $970,000 reported lost by small businesses and consumers. Several people reported losing over $10,000 to these scams, which can have a devastating effect on a small business," ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

"Ransomware can also see your business losing all of its business and financial records, which may be catastrophic."

Victims reported receiving an email purportedly from a reputable sender such as Australia Post or FedEx, with a file attached that will install ransomware on your computer once opened.
"Many small businesses and consumers have reported that their computer has been frozen, with a pop-up alert that claims to be from the Australian Federal Police stating the computer has been locked because they have visited an illegal website or breached various laws," Dr Schaper said.
"Scammers claim that they will unlock the computer if a fee is paid. However, even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee your computer will be unlocked and you're likely to be up for expensive repairs to your computer and the loss of your invaluable data."

"Scams like this often succeed because they look like messages from a government agency or reliable large corporation. It's important that small businesses are aware that government agencies will not send these demands and they're dealing with a scammer," Dr Schaper said.



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