So far this year, Australians have already lost over $236 million to scams. There have been a wide variety of scams in 2021 so far. Scammers continued to impersonate government agencies, such as the Australian Border Force. In one scam, scammers pretending to be from the Australian Taxation Office claimed people would receive tax refunds but needed to update their personal and financial details.
The emergence of the flubot malware scam, and the way it continued to evolve into different variants throughout the year shows how quickly scammers can adapt their scams.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is encouraging everyone to talk about scams to raise awareness about the different scams and how to avoid them. The ACCC have released a series of videos to highlight that scams can affect anyone.
Scams and small businesses
The Australian Banking Association, the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) and Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) are teaming up to encourage small businesses to register for PayID or use BPAY and e-invoicing when paying or receiving payment for invoices to help beat scammers. Services such as PayID, BPay and e-invoicing will show who you’re paying before you pay, ensuring money is going to the intended account.
Scammers can compromise a business’ email by imitating an email account or website, known as ‘spoofing’, sending phishing emails or by using malicious software. Through ‘spoofing’, scammers can impersonate businesses, contact customers and provide false payment details This results in payments being made to an account controlled by the scammer. When this happens, it is difficult for the business and its customers to get the money back.
The ABA have put together a Business Scams Fact Sheet with helpful information for small businesses including how to register for PayID, use BPAY or e-invoicing.
Scams, Fraud and Cybercrimes
Scams are one form of cybercrime, as is fraud. The MFAA have also made available to its members a webinar on Securing the Mortgage Broker from Cyber Threat which provides members with information on reducing the risks of cybercrimes such as online fraud and scams. Members can access this webinar on the MFAA Learning Hub under the Information Technology tile. Your member number will be required to log in.
The MFAA will also be shortly releasing its Foundation Fraud Prevention Course to give members a greater awareness of fraud (including scams) and to provide members with information on strategies to mitigate the risk of mortgage fraud. Stay tuned!