Australians are urged to be vigilant and protect themselves online, especially over the busy festive period.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre receives one cybercrime report every ten minutes from individuals and businesses. The most common types of cybercrime reported are identity theft, online fraud, shopping scams, online romance scams and business email compromise.
Cybercriminals don’t discriminate and their crimes impact Australians of all ages, as well as businesses.
Cybercriminals are active over the holiday season and there is a spike in online fraud and scam activity. This year, the ACSC’s Stay Smart Online program, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner are working together to raise awareness and help Australian shoppers stay safe this holiday season. This includes knowing how to spot a fake online store, paying securely, considering the safety of tech gifts, and being aware of what personal information is shared online.
Many of the steps to stay safe this holiday season are practical and simple. This includes using strong but different passwords on important online accounts, and avoiding online payments by direct bank transfer or other unusual methods (such as Bitcoin) because many scams will ask people to pay this way.
Cybercriminals set up fake online shopping sites or send messages that look real to trick online shoppers into buying things that never arrive, and to deceive people into providing personal details.
Australians should also be cautious about new or unknown retail websites and other suspicious messages requesting personal information or payment. Providing personal information can lead to other cybercrimes using stolen identities.
More information about what to look out for and how to stay safe when shopping online at holiday time is available at staysmartonline.gov.au/onlineshopping
If you have experienced a cybercrime, report it to the Australian Cyber Security Centre at www.cyber.gov.au/report.