Caught by cyber crooks

Richard Scott reckons he has reason to feel paranoid

Richard Scott

Last month we spoke of the dirty underworld of pickpockets. This month I wanted to look at the electronic version – fraud and identity theft – and I became a victim! What are the chances? Well, about 7%. According to an Attorney-General survey from June 2012, 7% of respondents had been a victim of identity theft in the past six months. Nearly a quarter had been, or knew someone who had been, scammed. I awoke to a call. I answered. It was a recorded message, so I hung up. My lady friend snappily inquired who was calling at such an ungodly hour. I replied, “Some automated message about fraud”, and rolled over. I awoke later to a sharp nudge in the ribs and Josephine on the phone to the bank. Turns out more than $500 had been pilfered from our joint account in four strikes while we slept, raising the suspicions of our bank’s fraud operations department.

I hadn’t downloaded a virus or answered a Nigerian email, but they still got my details and went on a spree. I’m in a state of information paranoia and I suggest you join me. Check your online statements thoroughly – spot anything odd, get on the blower immediately. Always type websites into browsers (never click email links). Disable pop-ups. Make passwords harder. Always log out of online banking sites. Never use public computers for banking or payments. Enable security settings on your mobile. Shred all your letters. Lock your doors. Hide your kids, hide your wife.

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