Cyber crime and scam/fraud


I know we keep hearing about cyber crime and a variety of scam/fraud stories in the media but I had a timely reminder this morning of just how incredibly sophisticated scammers are getting. The email I received looked for all intents and purposes, to be from the government and looked absolutely legit. It was addressed specifically to me, had what appeared to be a return email to Treasury and the ATO and even had a legitimate links to their websites. It wasn’t asking for “personal” information but it was asking me to qualify certain “already updated” details of our company and license. These “updated” details were also correct because…. well, they hadn’t changed!! so what’s the harm right?

The thing is we don’t deal with that particular department of Treasury and rarely if ever, deal directly with the ATO on behalf of clients unless there’s a dispute. I checked with both Treasury and the ATO and both confirmed that the email was not from them.

So where is the scam I hear you ask? Talking with my cyber security expert, it turns out that the scammer, at this point, is only interested in identifying a “live” email from which they’ll likely get a response in the future. Once this has been established, it apparently opens the door for similar emails to be sent that build trust in the conversation and ultimately result in personal information being disclosed.

So please be dilligent!!!

  • Question everything
  • Check return email addresses and,
  • If you weren’t expecting an email from that particular company/government department/person or if it sounds/looks unusual, delete it. Especially if it has an attachment. In my experience if someone needs to contact you badly enough they’ll ultimately ring. Even then, don’t provide personal information. Call the company or government department back yourself and ensure they are in fact, actually trying to contact you and why.

Ultimately, if you are still unsure, send it to me and I’ll look into it for you. This obviously isn’t part of our job description but I’d much rather spend 30min checking the legitimacy of something for you than find out later you’d been scammed in some way.

BTW, we are finally having the roof on our office done after the insurer has now approved the repairs from the fire last year (yep, it’s taken them over 12 months). We don’t have an actual date of commencement as yet but it’ll be soonish and there will be quite a bit of disruption to our daily activity in terms of scheduled review meetings etc. Bec will let you know more details as soon as we know.

Have a great rest of the week and as always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need to discuss anything.