Avoiding computer crime, what you need to know

Police are reminding the public to remain vigilant and be computer wise to avoid becoming the victim of computer based crime.

Offenders are becoming more organised and are often based overseas. They not only keep up with technology, but are often one step ahead of it, in order to steal your money.

Phishing emails or malware software are common ways for offenders to obtain the details they need to access your banking or PayPal accounts.

A phishing email often looks like a genuine email sent from your bank and could even include official logos. They often ask you to enter or confirm your banking or account details by ‘clicking on the below link’ to keep your account activated or current. Do not click on any link. Another method can involve you being directed to an online form which asks you to fill in personal details.

Banks will not send emails like this to you. No matter how genuine it may look, do not respond. Deleting any email from your account as soon as it arrives will help prevent you from becoming a victim.

Malware software is often attached to emails which are sent in bulk by offenders, which activates when you open the email and/or an attachment associated with that email. It will then ‘hunt’ through your computer looking for personal details, account numbers and passwords to send back to the offender. Malware may also lay dormant on your computer until activated at a later time.

In order to ensure you don’t become a victim of these scams, install reputable anti-virus software and delete emails received from those you don’t know. Do not reply and do not give out your personal details to anyone over the internet, unless it is a source you know and trust.

For more information on computer scams currently circulating, please visit Scamwatch.

For non urgent matters please contact Policelink on 131 444.

To learn more about, or report cybercrime please visit ACORN.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24hrs per day.

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