With more than 3 billion people now using the Internet, it is unsurprising that criminals are using this platform to steal your identity or money.

ND accounting, an accounting and taxation service based in Wollongong, Illawarra have recognised how clever some of these scams are.  43% of reported scams are via email so ND Accounting and Taxation services have investigated some of the current scams circulating Wollongong.

Phishing scams

Phishing is where a scammer will try to get you to click on a link in an email. That link might then take you to a website that wants to gather your personal information.

You might think, “who would be silly enough to fall for that?”  ND Accounting and taxation service can confirm these are getting more and more sophisticated appearing to be from a legitimate companies.  Some of the latest ones circulating in Wollongong are appearing to be from PayPal or Apple.  Logins are requested to resolve an issue on your account or alert you to ‘unauthorised or suspicious activity on your account’.

These sites look like the legitimate company’s website.

The scammer will ask you to provide or confirm your personal details.  They then use the submitted information to steal money from you bank account or purchase items through the credit card provided.

Identity theft Wollongong

Wollongong Accountant, Natasha advises if you are unsure make sure you call the company.  Don’t open downloads or follow links in emails.  If you receive an email from a company offering a service go directly to the company’s official website and look for details of the service.

You can find more information here: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/attempts-to-gain-your-personal-information/phishing

Friend is in trouble

Another email scam that is currently circulating is an email that you believe is from someone you know.  They’re overseas, got into trouble, have no money and need you to send money to help them out.  Don’t send them money; it’s a scam.”

Lottery Scams

Lottery scams are e mails containing messages informing you that you have won millions of dollars from an international lottery. These scams may also try to trick you into giving money upfront or your personal details in order to receive a prize from a lottery, sweepstake or competition that you never entered.

You can’t win a prize in a lottery if you didn’t buy a lottery ticket.

Find out more here:  https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/unexpected-winnings/unexpected-prize-lottery-scams

419 or Nigerian Scams

The 419 scam or popularly known as the Nigerian scam is one of the most widespread and very popular among other Internet scams. This also uses e mails in attempting to steal people’s money.

You receive an email asking for your help to take money out of the country and, in return, you will be paid commission.

Wollongong Accountant, Natasha warns, “This is serious, just in the month of October 2016 the number of people that reported this scam in Australia was 140 with amount lost being $291 752.”

Find out more here: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/unexpected-money/nigerian-scams

For more information on scams visit https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams

Another good source of information is the little black book of scams.  This is a great publication with information and tips on a wide range of online and offline scams, produced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

ND Accounting, Wollongong support locals in the Illawarra and afar by offering accounting and taxation services as well as tax tips.