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The scam is in the email

Thursday, 12 October 2017
By Print21

Consumer group Keep Me Posted (KMP) says new ACCC warnings about the increasing number of email scams underline the importance of providing people with the option of receiving important information by post – without an added fee.

According to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, ‘false billing’, when scammers pretend to be from a provider and send a fake bill, is in the top-three of the scams that Australians are most likely to encounter online, along with ‘phishing scams’, when scammers pretend to be from well-known businesses and government departments, conning unsuspecting victims out of their personal information and money.

The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) revealed that in 2016 more than 42% of the scams were delivered by email or the internet (mail only represents 4.1%). ACORN reported that close to $300 million was lost due to online scamming.

Keep Me Posted (KMP), a campaign advocating for the consumer’s right to choose without charge how they receive vital communications, has been following the issue closely.

“Online scams are one of the many aspects of how paper fees impact people’s lives,” says Kellie Northwood, executive director, Keep Me Posted. “We often refer to the digital divide and cost as factors why people want to receive paper communications, however online safety is a critical aspect of this issue.

“Some consumers are eligible for exemptions from paper fees however they are not automatic, and not easy to access. We urge corporations to act fairly and remove these fees,” says Northwood.

KMP cites a survey of 5,000 supporters showing that 75% are concerned about internet fraud, while a new Toluna survey shows a high level of distrust in digital communications, with 66% of Australians agreeing they are increasingly concerned that personal information held electronically is at risk of being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged.






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