Behind the mask: Unveiling the top trending scams and what’s new
Discounted Electricity Bill Scam
Have you heard of Benefit Deal and are they offering you an unbelievable price for your electricity?
Don’t believe it, it’s a scam. IDCARE’s National Case Management Centre has been dealing with several clients who’ve had their identity compromised as a result of phishing calls that start with someone pretending to be from Benefit Deal.
There is no benefit in this deal. It also appears the scammers are spoofing legitimate business numbers to get through to unsuspecting people.
Puppy Scams, a new bone of contention?
Despite the media attention after former AFL player Andrew Leoncelli lost nearly $3000 in a puppy scam, people are still being caught out.
In October, 17% of online buying scams reported to IDCARE’s National Case Management Centre involved puppies and kittens. And 7% of these scams involved someone in the “military”.
With Christmas coming, there is a likelihood the number of these scams will increase.
If you can’t buy a puppy from a shelter, research the breeder thoroughly.
WA Scam Net has put together a list of some of the puppy scam sites that have been detected and should be avoided.
US$400,000 lost in 10 days. Celebrity investment scams remain popular
People continue to be lured into investment scams, particularly those which appear to be endorsed by a celebrity.
IDCARE’s analysts noted in a 10 day period in October, our clients indicated a loss of over US$400,000.
Initial investments were usually US$250, but could be as high as US$200,000.
Don’t trust an investment opportunity because it appears to be endorsed by a celebrity!
The Mystery Shopper Scam
Who wouldn’t love to be paid to do shopping and critique the shops while they’re at it?
But be careful if you get a cold call offering you an employment opportunity in this line of work.
We’ve noticed an increase in the number of people receiving a cold call from an individual who is offering training regarding “mystery shopping”.
And to sweeten the deal, participants are offered a $50 gift card as a reward.
However, the person is asked to disclose personal information about their financial institution to be considered for employment.
One of the known phone numbers used in this scam is 02 8073 4120, which had at least 23 complaints against it in October.
The IDCARE Scam
This is a hard one to write about as it is so close to home! Scammers have begun impersonating IDCARE and using our good name to gain the trust of unsuspecting people and persuade them to allow remote access to their computer.
Here’s what we know
The scammer claims to be from IDCARE and the person has been hacked and should allow them remote access to check their computer and also to set up an elaborate “sting”.
The scammer, who has used names like Ashton, Alex and Max Webber, will even send links to our webpage to prove their legitimacy.
Here's what you need to know
IDCARE will never cold call you or send an unsolicited text or email and ask you to provide remote access, provide a copy of your driver licence or establish a cryptocurrency account.
We will also never ask you to participate in a “sting” or work with IDCARE to catch criminals on behalf of law enforcement.
For full details of this scam, what’s involved and how we are treating it, visit our article on the scam.
IDCARE is here to provide you with specialist support and guidance when faced with a cyber and identity related issue. Contact one of our Identity & Cyber Security Case Managers to learn more about our Support Services and how we can help you.
IDCARE as a registered charity does not ask individuals to donate or pay for our front line services. We are not a charity that can receive tax deductible donations. We rely on organisations that care enough about you to care about us to keep our charitable service going. Proudly these organisations are displayed above and on our Subscriber Organisations page. If you are asked for payment from someone claiming to be from IDCARE, please report this to us using our Report Phishing email.
IDCARE has access to the Department of Social Services’ Free Interpreting Service, delivered by the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National). Access to the Free Interpreting Service is provided to assist you to communicate with non-English speaking people who hold a Medicare card. Please note that the service does not extend to New Zealand citizens or residents who do not hold an Australian Medicare card, or to tourists, overseas students or people on temporary work visas.
New Zealand Relay provides services to help Deaf, hearing impaired, speech impaired, Deafblind and standard phone users communicate with their peers. A TTY user connects to New Zealand Relay via a toll-free number and types their conversation to a Relay Assistant (RA) who then reads out the typed message to a standard phone user (hearing person).
The RA relays the hearing person's spoken words by typing them back to the Textphone (TTY) User.
The National Relay Service (NRS) is an Australian government initiative that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment to make and receive phone calls.
The NRS is available 24 hours a day, every day and relays more than a million calls each year throughout Australia.