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AUSTRALIA: ACCC SCAMWATCH Warns People How To Spot A Romance Scammer

#AceNewsReport – Feb.14: Over 3,400 reports were received about dating and romance scams in 2021, including many people concerned about a family member who got caught up in a scam. Over half of all reports were about romance scams on social networking websites or dating apps.

#AceNewsDesk says ACCC says Learn how to spot a romance scammer this Valentine’s Day: Scamwatch is urging people to watch out for dating and romance scams after Australians reported losing a record $56 million last year, an increase of 44 per cent.

Losses to scams are likely to be much higher than reported to Scamwatch, as our research shows that of all scam victims, only around 13% report to Scamwatch.

“It’s important to look out for friends or family members who are using online dating apps and talk about how to spot romance scams,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Talking about scams, including your own experiences, can help others identify them and may prevent them from falling victim in the future.”

Romance scammers play on emotional triggers to take advantage of victims. They often use ‘love bombing’ techniques, such as professing love and affection very quickly, to try to influence victims.

The scammer will then come up with elaborate stories asking the intended target to send money, gifts or financial information.

Another variation of the scam is called ‘romance baiting’. Once the scammer has developed a connection on a dating app, they will offer to show the victim how to invest, often in cryptocurrency, turning the romance scam into an investment scam.

“Scammers can come up with endless reasons to try and convince you to send money. If you start to feel pressured by your admirer, stop communicating with them,” Ms Rickard said.

“Another red flag to look out for is when scammers provide constant excuses as to why they cannot meet in person or use the video function.”

People aged over 55 made up close to half the losses to romance scams ($25 million), and women reported higher losses than men.

“Never send money or give personal or financial information to someone you’ve only met online. Think very carefully about taking investment or financial advice from someone on a dating app, ” Ms Rickard said.

“Do an internet search with the name or photo of your love interest or some of the phrases they have used to try to identify if it is a scam.”

Anyone who thinks they have been scammed, is advised to contact their bank or financial institution as soon as possible. They should also contact the platform on which they were scammed and inform them of the circumstances of the scam. 

As well as financial losses, romance scams can also cause significant emotional suffering. Anyone experiencing emotional distress about their experience with a scam, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

For more advice on how to avoid dating and romance scams and what to do if you or someone you know is a victim of a scam, visit the Scamwatch website.

You can also follow @scamwatch_gov on Twitter and subscribe to Scamwatch radar alerts……..ACCC Infocentre: Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published; Feb.14: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) SCAM WATCH REPORT: Citizens have already lost about $12.9 million to online shopping including classifieds scams so far this year, and the ACCC is urging consumers to watch out for dodgy deals as pre-holiday sales approach #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.23: ” People are often searching for the best deals online, especially in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, so it’s easy to be caught off guard and fall for a scam.”

#AceDailyNews ACCC Report: Scamwatch has received over 26,000 reports of online shopping scams, more than the total reported through all of 2020. This is consistent with global trends from 2020 as more people shop online during the pandemic.

Kindness & Love❤️ says friends, followers and readers be safe this time of the year ….

This is a very busy time of year, and scammers often try to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers rushing to organise gifts,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

In an online shopping scam, scammers create realistic looking fake online stores selling items at heavily discounted prices, however the items are fake, or never delivered to buyers.

Scammers have also created fake stores on social media platforms or post fake ads on legitimate classifieds websites. They may request payment or offer discounts for payments made through direct bank transfers or cryptocurrency. 

“Before you buy, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of scams. While some scammers try to make online stores look legitimate by requesting payment via PayPal or credit card, always double check that the real PayPal platform is being used. Be suspicious of too good to be true offers and any sellers that ask you to pay by bank transfer, gift cards or cryptocurrency,” Ms Rickard said.

“Research the seller and make sure you know who you are buying from. Search online for the product or company name, plus “complaint” or “scam” to see what other people are saying. If you are buying from a social networking site, check the seller’s history and read reviews from other people who have dealt with them.”

“When you’re paying, avoid arrangements that ask for up-front payment via bank transfer, or payment through digital currency, like Bitcoin. Always try to use a secure payment service such as PayPal or credit card transaction,” Ms Rickard said.

If you’re waiting for your parcel, remember that scammers also take advantage of people expecting deliveries.

“Australia Post and other parcel delivery companies will never email, call or text you asking for personal or financial information or a payment. Many delivery companies have apps where you can track your parcels rather than clicking on links in messages or emails,” Ms Rickard said.

Losses to online shopping scams are spread across most age groups, but people aged 25-34 lost the most money, at $2.4 million.

The number of reports involving a financial loss has decreased this year, indicating that more people are able to recognise and avoid online shopping scams, however those that are losing money are losing more, with an average loss of more than $1,450, compared to $1,190 last year.

Some of the more significant losses reported to Scamwatch during the year relate to high value purchases:

  • Pet scams were the most reported when it came to online shopping scams and were also the most financially damaging. Scamwatch received over 2,800 reports and almost $3.5 million in losses so far, a 78 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
  • Vehicle sale scams resulted in big losses at more than $1.9 million, while other common products included caravans, shipping containers and electronics such as laptops, phones, and gaming consoles.
  • Shipping container scams were a new trend this year, fleecing consumers of over $676,000. They were popular on marketplaces and classified sites, but scammers also created fake websites and pretended to have real ABNs. Scamwatch has taken action to get some fake websites removed.

People who think they have been scammed should contact their bank or financial institution immediately. If the scam occurred on a social media platform, contact the platform and inform them of the circumstances surrounding the scam. 

They can also make a report to Scamwatch and find more information on where to get help on our website.

Know your consumer rights:

The ACCC is also urging people to be aware of their consumer rights if something goes wrong, even if the item was purchased during the sales season.

“Remember that you are entitled to consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law, so if you’ve received a gift or purchased something in the sales and the product stops working or isn’t as it was described, you are entitled to a remedy depending on the nature of the problem,” Ms Rickard said.

“If you’re having an issue with your product, you should first contact the retailer. They cannot refuse to help by sending you to the manufacturer. Your local state and territory consumer protection agency can provide more information about your rights, and may also be able to help negotiate resolutions between you and the seller.”

Additional Notes: More information about consumer guarantees is available on the ACCC’s website.

Figure 1: Age of people reporting online shopping scams (and classified) by reports and losses (1 Jan – 31 Oct 2021 compared with all of 2020)

Table 1: Top 10 products reported in online shopping scams in 2021 (until 31 Oct), by highest losses

ACCC Infocentre: Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Nov.23: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) SCAMWATCH ALERT: Since beginning of August 2021 many citizens have been getting scam text messages about missed calls or voicemails: Less than three weeks after this scam was first reported had received over 5500 reports of these scams #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.31: The text messages ask you to tap on a link to download an app to hear a voicemail message. However, the message is fake, there is no voicemail, and the app is actually malicious software called Flubot….

#AceSecurityDesk says missed call or voicemail (Flubot) scam on Android phones and iPhones can both receive texts from the Flubot: If you receive one of these messages, do not click or tap on the link. Delete the message immediately and these scam voicemails. have also already been a problem overseas in 2021:

What the scam messages look like

The text message often begins with 5-6 random lowercase letters or numbers, then says you have a missed call or voicemail message.

The text message may also have several misspellings. Here are some examples.

  • ab12c3 Nfw voice yessage received 
  • gh6tr7 Voicemail message receiied 
  • x78y9z New oozce-message received 

After saying you have a missed call, voicemail or message, the messages include a link. The message may also say the voicemail message will be automatically deleted if you don’t access it.

What happens if you click or tap the link

Clicking/tapping the link could lead to downloading malware (malicious software) to your phone.

If you click on the link you’ll see a screen that typically includes:

  • your phone number
  • a note saying how long the fake message is (such as 2 minutes and 34 seconds)
  • a link to ‘Download voicemail app’ and instructions to enable the download of the application if this was blocked initially by your phone.

If you have an Android device

If you have an Android device, it will download an application called “Voicemail71.apk”. This application is malware.

You would then be asked to install the application.

The application may be able to:

  • read your text messages
  • send text messages from your phone
  • make phone calls from your number
  • access your contacts

Installing the software is likely to give scammers access to your passwords and accounts. They may be able to use this information to steal your money or personal information.

If you have an iPhone

If you have an iPhone, you may see a link to download software. This software isn’t the same as Flubot, but it can still damage your device.

What to do if you’ve downloaded the Flubot

Act immediately. If you have already clicked the link to download the application, your passwords and online accounts are now at risk from hackers.

Don’t enter any passwords or log into any accounts until you have followed the below steps.

Clean your device

Cleaning your device using the steps below will remove the malicious software from your device.

To clean your device, you can:

  • contact an IT professional
  • download official Android anti-virus software through the Google Play Store
  • perform a factory reset of the device.

Performing a factory reset of your device will delete all of your data including photos, messages, and authentication applications.

Change your passwords and secure your information

If you have logged in to any accounts or apps using a password since downloading the app, you need to change your passwords.

If you have used the same passwords for any other accounts, you also need to change those passwords.

Contact your bank and ensure your accounts are secure.

How to protect yourself

  • Do not click on links in text messages saying you have a voicemail or missed call.
  • Do not call back the individual who sent the text. It’s unlikely that they are a scammer or criminal. Scammers can disguise their caller ID as legitimate numbers to carry out these scams. This is also known as spoofing.
  • Delete the message immediately.
  • Learn more about FluBot scams and other relevant phone scams at the ID Care website.

Have you been scammed?

  • Make a report to ReportCyber if you have been a victim of this cybercrime.
  • We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example by including the email or screenshot.
  • If you have lost personal information to a scammer and are concerned, you can contact IDCARE.
  • Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.30: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) SCAM ALERT REPORT: Have you been getting scam texts with ‘missed voicemails’? Here’s why, and what you should do #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.13: Hack asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Competition — a government body that runs Scamwatch — if this text message scam has become a big thing, and what you should do if you keep getting these texts.

#AceDailyNews reports DO NOT CLICK ON A LINK: If you do click on the link, it’ll take you to a site that shows your phone number, the alleged length of the “missed message” (e.g. 2 minutes and 34 seconds), and a link to ‘Download voicemail app’ and instructions to enable the download of the application if initially blocked by the phone: To reiterate: DONT CLICK ON THE LINK

One person said that the first time I got a scam text message saying I had an unopened voicemail to listen to, I was alarmed for two reasons: firstly because I don’t like voicemails (just send me a text); secondly — after I realised it was dodgy — how was the scam text coming through from a seemingly normal number? Thursday 12 August 2021 3:42pm

Scam text message voicemail

So, how big is the scam and what impact is it having in Australia?

It looked like this, and I’ve had a bunch more pretty much identical messages come through since, all from different numbers with Australian area codes.

I’ve had tonnes of scam calls in the past — from weird overseas numbers, or sometimes regular Australian ones, asking me stuff about gas bills, or something equally random — but but I’ve never had a scam text like this before. 

Turns out I’m not the only one going through it. 

Australian comedian Em Rusciano got on to it too and asked phone provider Telstra for some answers. 

In short, Telstra explained that the messages come from “legit devices all around the world” and are difficult to block. 

The point of the scam is for users to click on the link in the message (it should go without saying: don’t click on the link), which will download some nasty malware to your phone. 

Advice from Scamwatch

An ACCC spokesperson said the scam had been reported over 300 times in just over a week – after it was first reported on August 4. 

“We have no reported financial losses to this scam, and no reported instances of individuals installing the malware. Many reporters note they are receiving one new text message of this scam daily.”

The ACCC said if downloaded, the malware has the ability to initiate a phone call without your permission, send and receive texts, and read your contact data. 

So, what should you do if you get a scam text like this? The ACCC has some tips:

  • Do not click the link and delete the text message
  • Do not call back the individual who sent the text as they are unlikely to be the scammer. It is possible their device is not infected and their number has been spoofed.
  • Make a report to ReportCyber if you have been a victim of this cybercrime.
  • You can also report to Scamwatch here.
  • If you have lost personal information to a scammer and are concerned you can contact IDCARE or call 1800 595 160.
  • If you have installed the malware, contact your bank and ensure your accounts are secure and contact an IT professional.

The ACCC also told Hack they’d be warning the public about the scam and sharing their intel on the scam with Australian telco providers. 

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: Aug.13: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com