People working from home or surfing the Internet in a coronavirus home isolation need to be super aware of predatory cyber scammers who are very active right now.

Scammers are targeting job seekers with fake job advertisements, or bogus links to official coronavirus information websites which in reality is just a backdoor for installing viruses and ransomware in home devices.

Cyber criminals thrive on disorder and panic.

They regard the upheavals caused by the coronavirus shutdowns as a magic time for them to strike as people adjust to working from home, or trawl the Net looking for entertainment or distractions. People should not let down their guard because these are very strange times.

I endorse a report from the Australian Cyber Security Centre which has alerted Australians to cyber criminals based in Eastern and Western Europe, Asia and Africa launching COVID-19-themed malicious cyber activity.

Karl Hanmore, acting Head of the ACSC, says a key concern for the Australian Cyber Security Centre is cyber criminals looking to prey on businesses as they transition to a remote workforce.

Fake job advertisements ask job seekers to provide drivers licence details, which are then used for identity theft. Or people receive SMS or email messages which sometimes look legitimate, and other times are easier to spot, but it’s really cyber criminals trying to find a way to fleece unsuspecting people.

“Their day job is to steal money and they do that with sending SMSs or email messages that will look fairly official and asking you to click a link. Click a link to learn more about the coronavirus, we’re seeing a bunch of that. Click a link and then download a file so that you can update a form to get free money from the government, also a scam, and seeing a whole bunch of that right now,” he says.

It’s crucial to be suspicious of any SMS or email messages received from someone you do not know.

Do not simply open or download apps or files that may be unfamiliar to you. If there’s any doubt at all, go to the official website for the organisation and see if you can verify the authenticity of a message.

Clicking on unknown links, could redirect your phone or computer to a website where nasty predators will download malware, or a computer virus, onto your phone or PC.

It’s all about stealing your banking details to hack into your account and drain your money. They are also targeting your Superannuation by offering to “assist” you access the funds. In reality they are only assisting themselves.

The ACSC is expecting a flood of new complaints over scammers offering to fix computers or upgrade them due to the Covid-19 work from home necessity.

Never let anyone have remote access to your computer, because it gives the hacker control over your computer. From there they can monitor your emails and even your keystrokes to determine your passwords.

We are all going through a lot at present and we don’t need the added stress of having to deal with theft.

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