So far this year, over $190 million has been lost to scams and hoaxes. The most common method of attack is a practice called Phishing.
Not to be confused with the leisurely pastime of catching fish, “phishing” works by luring people to give out their important personal information, such as account passwords or payment details, to use in fraud and theft.
The typically done by pretending to be a trusted, well-known company in an attempt to trick you into supplying personal information, visiting fraudulent websites or installing malicious software on your devices.
We’ve put together some handy advice to help you stay protected.
What to do if you receive a suspicious email, SMS or phone call claiming to be from Westnet
If you’re ever uncertain about any correspondence you’ve received that claims to be from us, please give us a call on 1300 786 068. After running through a standard ID check, we can confirm the legitimacy of the correspondence and help you with any matters related to your Westnet account.
The tips below will help you stay safe.
Suspicious emails and SMS
Don’t reply to the email or SMS.
Never open any links or attachments.
Don’t call any phone numbers in the email or SMS.
Take a screenshot of the email/SMS and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the date and time you received it.
Scammers often use fear tactics to make you panic so you don’t think before you act. This may include threatening imminent disconnection of your phone/broadband services or deletion of your email accounts.
If you’re worried about your Westnet account, you can check on it ASAP by logging in to MyAccount, our secure online customer portal. The login button is also on every page of our website.
Red flags to watch out for
Asking for bank/credit card details, passwords or other personal information If necessary, we may ask you to update your payment details in MyAccount, but we definitely won’t ask you for these details over email because it’s not secure enough.
Asking to access your computer via Remote Support programs If you’ve called a legitimate tech support company about a problem, Remote Support can be very helpful. However, if someone has called you, never let them access your computer through Remote Support – they may use it to install malicious software or lock you out and extort you for payment.
Badly written with broken or low-quality images While some scams emails and SMS can be highly crafted and seem professionally written, many…aren’t. And it makes our designers and copywriters cringe.
Dodgy email addresses and links Scammers may name themselves “Westnet Support” but use a completely unrelated email address. Likewise, if you hover your mouse over a link (or tap and hold on a touchscreen device) you can see the full URL without having to actually visit it. Here you can see that “Login To Your Account” link is headed somewhere suspicious.
Short notice for big changes – often on the first notice For legitimate circumstances such as the shutdown of legacy broadband equipment, we’ll always make sure you receive plenty of notice ahead of time. We aim for at least 30 days’ notice of detrimental changes to any Westnet accounts.
Put your spotting skills to the test
Are you ready to test your keen eye for scams? Check out the Phishing Quiz from Jigsaw, a Google company that builds technology to tackle some of the toughest global security challenges facing the world today. Some of them are pretty tricky!