Although the development of the internet, email, smart phones, tablets and computers has brought many advantages, it has also created an entirely new criminal industry.
The types and breadth of technological related scams is continually increasing and evolving. Every week, we read information about a new scam and every now and then hear of someone that we know who has unwittingly fallen prey to these scammers.
There are also scam phone calls – that are insistent – That included a current wave of calls from criminals pretending to be from the police, or banks, telling people they were being targeted by money launderers, and were gathering information in order to protect them.
Here are some of the recent articles (in the last 2 weeks alone) and information for you to read and understand and share with your loved ones and colleagues, to ensure that your finances and information remain secure.
The scam emails usually follow the same format, including:
• the email includes a previous password that you have used
• the email claims that you visited an adult website and that the scammer turned on your webcam and recorded what was happening
• the email claims that they have a copy of your website history
• the scammer threatens to email the video to all your contacts unless they pay a ransom between $1700 and $3000
“We can’t confirm whether the video recordings actually exist, or if this is an opportunistic scam. We have not had any reports of scammers releasing a video when a ransom isn’t paid,” CERT operations manager Declan Ingram says.
Police are warning the public to think before sharing personal details online after a Canterbury person was scammed out of $320,000 in life savings.
The scam involved investments in cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, and the company involved offered good returns for minimal investment.
The investment grew as more money was deposited, but soon began to decline, Senior Sergeant Paul Reeves said.
The scammer then contacted the victim on numerous occasions to invest more funds, which they deposited via the website.
The Crown agency responsible for tracking, monitoring and advising on cybersecurity incidents registered 455 phishing attacks in the three months through June, up from 196 in the March quarter. Some 337 of those attacks were about the financial services sector, which the agency put down to a closer working relationship with the industry.
The total number of incidents reported was 736, of which 112 were referred to police and nine to Netsafe. None were referred to the National Cyber Security Centre or Department of Internal Affairs in the quarter.
Those led to $2.2 million of direct losses for people and organisations, again skewed to older demographics. Four incidents accounted for 77 per cent of those losses, of which two were scams, such as phone calls or ads designed to tricker users into installing fake software on their computers. Eleven scams and frauds were reported to agency – known as Cert NZ – in the quarter.