ACMA warns of increased scam sophistication

Mar 2, 2006 8:02 AM
The Australian Consumer Fraud Taskforce has kicked off a new four week awareness campaign centred on Internet scams.
The Australian Consumer Fraud Taskforce has kicked off a new four week awareness campaign centred on Internet scams.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), a member of the taskforce, has also thrown its weight behind the campaign warning of the growth in phishing attacks.

“Phishing isn’t new,” Andree Wright, executive manager of ACMA’s Codes, Content and Education Branch, said in a statement. “What is new is the increased intensity and technical sophistication of phishing scams.”

Phishing scams were usually detectable through their efforts to entice people to disclose personal details or to click on a link which typically downloaded code designed to capture personal information, she said.

“The most worrying development is that more and more of these attacks are being committed by sophisticated crime gangs who employ a range of ploys which appear legitimate,” she said.

In an effort to help, the ACMA has also released a series of tips to help people avoid scams. Advice includes the suggestion for Internet users to stay calm and avoid the temptation to automatically reply to emails asking for confidential information, account details or passwords.

Internet users were also advised to look for the '.au' domain name, to take basic privacy precautions, and to act quickly if they thought they had been conned.

The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce was set up in March 2005 and is made up of 18 Australian and New Zealand government regulatory agencies and departments involved in consumer protection.