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Fraud Alerts: Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are created by fraudsters to give the illusion they’ve been sent from a legitimate organisation.

Phishing (pronounced ‘fishing’) scams are carried out by fraudsters who try to trick buyers and sellers into giving out personal information or banking details by posing as trusted organisations.

These scams are typically carried out by email but fraudsters can also try and get in contact with buyers and sellers over the phone (called Vishing) or by text message (called Smishing).

With the rise in use of mobile phones, Smishing scams are growing in popularity with fraudsters. Mobile users are being targeted by text messages from seemingly legitimate sources, such as the carsales network. These messages, like phishing scams, seek to dupe users into providing personal details or encourage buyers who enquired on a false listing to resume trading with the seller.

But they seem so real…

Fraudsters try to make their phishing scams look as real as possible to get as many bites as they can. They might use the names of real people, official logos and branding, and cap off their email with some official-looking fine print to make for some very convincing fakes.

It’s also common for phishing emails to include links to pages that appear to be from a real website but are in fact copies or ‘ghost sites’ of the real company’s website. The tell tale sign will be the website address (URL) which will be similar to but not the same as the real site. For example, where you would visit a fraudster may include http:/ details in their email.

What can you do to avoid these scams?

There are a few things you can do to avoid taking the bait. If you think some is phishing for your details:

  1. Stay calm! Fraudsters often make their emails sound urgent, claiming your account is frozen or locked – resist the urge to reply immediately.
  2. Check the ‘from’ email address. Official-looking emails from free email service providers are a tell tale sign the email is a fake.
  3. Don’t click on links provided in emails. Instead use your ‘favourites’ tab to navigate to the website or type the website address directly into your web-browser.
  4. Don’t click on links in text messages and be wary of text messages from overseas or automated mobile numbers – messages sent from an Australian mobile phone will begin with +61.

Report it to us. Help us fight scams by alerting us to anything suspicious as soon as possible. If you’ve received an email or text message you believe to be from a false buyer we want to know about it. Call (02) 8003 7016.

Important: will never ask you to click on a link in an email to update your account information, nor would we ask for your account information or log-in details by email.


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