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Cyber security awareness month: Be aware of the new rising scam

Cyber security awareness month: Be aware of the new rising scam
Cyber security awareness month: Be aware of the new rising scam

October is cyber awareness month, and Australia Post encourages customers to be vigilant and protect themselves. 

“All too often customers are targeted with fake scam text messages and emails about parcel deliveries, prompting them to click links to gain personal or financial information,” the postal service says in a statement. 

There is new data to confirm that parcel delivery SMS scams are rising. These scammers send emails around, masquerading as legitimate messages from Australia Post, requesting to arrange re-delivery of a package, updating delivery details, or requesting payment of a fee.

Locate2u CEO Steve Orenstein says it’s getting more challenging to spot phishing scams. “If you are getting an SMS sent to you, ensure you expect this. If you click on the link, look at the structure of the URL of the domain name. See if it makes sense. Is it from an official [courier service]? If it’s not, close that link.”

Orenstein says that spelling mistakes in a phishing email are often a dead giveaway. “Just one character needs to be different; then you are on a phishing site.”

Cyber security this festive season

According to the Australian government data, 40 breaches affected over 5,000 residents in the second half of 2022. It’s a 67% increase compared to the first half. Five breaches from July to December affected over a million Australians.

Professor Monica Whitty, from Monash University, says: “I encourage shoppers who are seeking out the perfect gift for their loved ones to stop and check the authenticity of the website. Even if it is a familiar vendor, consider using apps of well-known vendors, check the source of a text, and never click a link. Even if it appears to be a genuine source, it will most likely download malware onto your digital device.”



A survey by PayPal found that people aged 57-75 were the most concerned about online safety the past year, with 77% reporting “heightened” cyber security fears. 

Educating staff 

“We often purposefully send [our staff] an email that looks like it’s coming from a staff member, with a phishing link. It’s purposefully designed to catch someone out. This is to show them how easily it can occur. We did this a few months ago to all our staff,” says Orenstein.

“It was useful to see how many got caught out by this. We could give them more education on this.”

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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