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The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has seen a significant increase in reporting in the past few months of COVID-19 themed phishing scams, using all sorts of lures to try and trick people into handing over personal details.

Beware of phishing

Phishing and spear-phishing is a method of stealing confidential information by sending fraudulent messages to a victim, through email or message platforms. They remain among the most common method used by malicious cyber actors to target Australians. While phishing messages are commonly sent out in their thousands, spear-phishing campaigns are typically aimed at a particular group of recipients.

Since the pandemic's outbreak, the Government’s Scamwatch has received over 3,060 coronavirus-themed scam reports with over $1,371,000 in reported losses.

To help you spot a fake email or SMS from a real one, the ACSC’s Stay Smart Online program has launched an interactive phishing quiz. 

“Phishing campaigns can be sent via email, SMS, social media, instant messenger or a phone call. They can look extremely convincing, often imitating legitimate messages from trusted senders in government or business,” said ACSC Head Abigail Bradshaw CSC.

“The ACSC has observed numerous phishing emails that feature official logos and branding, together with the same font and layout as the organisation they pretend to come from. Head to our campaign page at www.cyber.gov.au/scam-messages to access the quiz, and see if you can spot the scam!” Ms Bradshaw said. 

If you can spot the scam, how about hooking into an exciting career at ASD? Visit ASD Careers to learn more and apply for current vacancies.

Further information

We’re pleased to share with you the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC)’s new-look website www.cyber.gov.au, including the ACSC’s Stay Smart Online program.  It is the ACSC’s primary digital platform for individuals, businesses and government agencies to report cybercrime and cyber incidents, and to receive expert advice and guidance about cyber security.

If you have been a victim of a cybercrime, go to ReportCyber and report it.

You can also report scams to Scamwatch.