Australians are conducting more of their financial affairs in a digital environment and the Australian superannuation industry is huge even in global terms, so it is little wonder that 95% of Australians were targeted by a scammer in the last 12 months.
In May 2018, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission reported that Australians lost a combined $340 million to scams in 2017. Leading the pack were investment scams which saw a 33% increase over 2016 losses.
The highest losses were noted in the 55-64 years age group, followed by the 65+ and 45-54 years age group.
At FMD we take our duty of care to protect your personal information seriously. We have strong security measures in place including two factor authentication and password management tools and we use every means possible to make sure the personal information you give us is safe, so it can’t be misused, changed, lost or accessed without authorisation. In addition, we will always contact you via phone if we receive any request that seems suspicious or out of the ordinary.
Unfortunately, 31% of reported scams target people through their personal email. The good news is there are some easy steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe online.
1. Look out for common cyber crime tactics
- Online scams – you may receive a cheap/free offer that turns out to be dishonest or non-existent.
- Phishing – an email or text pretending to be from a trusted source that ask you to complete a form with personal information or computer login credentials.
- Identity fraud – criminals may use your personal information including email to steal your money or other benefits.
- Malware and ransomware – software designed to gain unauthorised access to your computer to steal data or prevent you from accessing your files until a ‘ransom’ is paid.
2. Staying secure while using email
- FMD or your bank will never send you an email asking for your login details, so don’t respond to this type of request.
- Criminals often use a company’s name and logo — so contact us or the relevant company by phone if you suspect a scam.
- Phishing emails often contain bad spelling and grammar or come from a peculiar email address – so look out for these clues and delete.
- Don’t open an attachment if you can’t verify who sent it.
- Only click on links if you recognise and trust the sender.
- Ensure spam filtering is activated on your email account.
- Consider using a separate email for email lists, online shopping etc.
- Regularly update software and anti-virus protection.
3. Manage your passwords carefully
- Don’t write your passwords down or store them on your computer. If you must record it, make sure it’s disguised.
- Never share your password with anyone, even family.
- Don’t click ‘remember this password’ on your browser, and make sure you log off when you’re finished.
In April 2019, the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) released the results of a survey through which they analyzed passwords belonging to accounts worldwide that had been breached. We were not surprised to see old faithful '123456' top the list of the worst passwords you can possibly have. Did your password make it to the list?
If you have trouble memorising complex passwords, use a password manager like ‘KeePass’, ‘LastPass’, ‘Dashlane’ or ‘1Password’. We do at FMD and it makes life much easier and more secure.
If you suspect you’re being scammed, visit www.scamwatch.gov.au and check out their News section for reports about experiences that sound similar to yours. Alternatively, report your scam and help warn the community.
If you’d like to know more about how FMD keeps your personal information secure, talk to your FMD adviser.
General advice disclaimer: This article has been prepared by FMD Financial and is intended to be a general overview of the subject matter. The information in this article is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon as such. In preparing this article we have not taken into account the individual objectives or circumstances of any person. Legal, financial and other professional advice should be sought prior to applying the information contained on this article to particular circumstances. FMD Financial, its officers and employees will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any person acting in reliance on the information contained on this article. FMD Group Pty Ltd ABN 99 103 115 591 trading as FMD Financial is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. The FMD advisers are Authorised Representatives of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977.