With the Celsius reaching the low 40s during much of the two weeks IDCARE visited South Australia, the heat kept many in air-conditioned comfort during the day instead of venturing out and about. Despite this, it was great to return to the region after COVID cancellations curtailed our first visit here in 2022.
In partnership with our major sponsor, Westpac, we presented to staff at several of their branches and subsidiaries, including Bank of Melbourne and BankSA. As always, there were many questions about IDCARE's role in the scam ecosystem and how we provide a holistic approach to helping scam victims understand the long-term risks of compromised ID and fraud. Clients presenting in person to the branch in the process of a scam are occurring almost daily, with some customers finding it difficult to believe their likely involvement in a scam. IDCARE and bank staff members spoke about how important it is to 'stop and pause' when asked to send money or provide personal information. A legitimate organisation will not rush you, ask for your login details, or demand instant payment.
Airtime with the Renmark ABC morning team led to some eager participants joining our co-presentation at the Renmark Library with South Australia Police. At short notice, Lauren and Casey from the Cybercrime Training and Prevention Team joined us. They were able to provide valuable insights into the work their team does. After being alerted of a scam, the group actively pursues all cases, including working in the Blockchain at times to see where cryptocurrency transactions are going and any available account details associated with these fraudulent transactions. It was noted that some crypto exchanges comply with requests for details of users. At the same time, many still need to, as they are globally based and highly encrypted. One participant used a memory stick to store their passwords and only accessed it when required. SAPOL encouraged the gentleman to place a Bit Locker-style password on the USB in case it fell into the wrong hands, and we also looked at strategies if the drive became lost. Another participant reported he was currently the subject of a scam/fraud investigation at his local bank after losing money. Malware was found on his device by a local computer store. He was referred to IDCARE for further support.
The local Men's Shed hosted a morning tea in Naracoorte for IDCARE to run through our cyber resilience information. A theme that has emerged recently with our elderly clients is that one partner tends to handle all the financial and account-based information, including passwords, leaving the other partner with absolutely no clue where to start if they need to take over. Many are not using computers, smartphones or email at all. Several of the men who attended were in this group and were disappointed their wives were not in attendance to hear the cyber resilience information covered. However, with our information brochures and some encouragement to get involved in this fast-moving world of cyberspace, it was hoped many would have had very interesting conversations at the dinner table that night and taken a browse of the IDCARE Learning Page on our website!