‘Investment scams are disproportionately impacting Australians’: Proofpoint | #phishing | #scams | #cybersecurity | #infosecurity | #hacker

Security provider Proofpoint notes the massive growth in scams reported in the latest Scamwatch report, drawing attention to the fact that Australian losses to scammers reached 80% of 2020’s total in just six months.

As previously reported, the ACCC has said that scammers have stolen more than $7.2 million from Australians so far this year by gaining access to home computers, an increase of 184% compared to the same period last year.

Proofpoint has chimed in. with ANZ area vice-president Crispin Kerr saying “The latest data from the ACCC’s Scamwatch has revealed the full extent of the damage done by scammers and cybercriminals over the first half of the year.

“What is most concerning is that we are only six months into the year and Australians have already lost 80% of the total amount reported to Scamwatch across the whole of 2020.

“In addition, for the second month in a row, June saw the highest total monthly amount lost at $31.4 million, an increase of nearly 150% compared to June 2020.

“It’s not just the amount of money leaving Australians out of pocket that is alarming, but also the number of scams being reported. Over 124,000 scams were reported to Scamwatch since January, an increase of 54% from the first half of 2020.

“While it is encouraging to see so many people coming forward and reporting their experiences to Scamwatch, it does display just how active scammers are in the threat landscape.

“A clear trend that’s emerged over the year is that investment scams are disproportionately impacting Australians at a cost of more than $70 million. It’s a shame to see Australians affected by these cheap tricks which typically promise some kind of way to get rich quickly.

“Scammers are continuing to steal Australians’ hard-earned money and take advantage of challenging financial situations, especially with ongoing lockdowns.

“We can also see the clear impact of scammers preying on Australian’s emotions like fear and anxiety, with scams suggesting threats to life or arrest and identity theft among the highest losses and the number of scams reported.

“This kind of social engineering plays into the human condition and our vulnerabilities and unfortunately is proving to be very effective. In addition, the prevalence of phishing scams highlights just how easy it is to carry out these quick scams, given the considerable low barriers to entry.”

As ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said, “Remember, your bank will never ask you to give them access to your computer or accounts, nor will they ask for the codes to verify transactions. You should never provide those numbers to anyone except to verify transactions you are making in your mobile banking app or through your online banking,”


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