Amazon shoppers beware

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With all the hype and hysteria around the impending launch of Amazon in Australia, it is important to stay wary and not fall victim to online fraud.

Already we have heard of an elaborate scam targeting Australian shoppers that has taken advantage of the building excitement over Amazon’s impending arrival Down Under.
A scam email doing the rounds claims to be from Amazon, offering Australian online shoppers a chance to win a $500 gift voucher, asking them to click on a link and share their views about the online retailer.
It goes on to say that 80 vouchers are up for grabs. At the top of the email is a disturbingly convincing graphic with the Amazon logo on it, inviting recipients to click and “confirm my voucher”.
The link in the email looks like a legitimate survey by Amazon, but in fact is a fraudulent page aimed at harvesting the personal details of unsuspecting Australians — which could potentially be used for identity fraud.
The approach is called phishing, and is the first step in a scam aimed at stealing money from bank accounts and credit cards, which costs Australians more than $360 million a year.
South West Credit CEO, David Brown, warns all members of the community to be wary of any email or SMS you receive with links built into it.

“Sites should only be visited using a publicly listed web address, or via a trusted search engine such as Google” Mr Brown says. 
He warned Warrnambool residents to be cautious of unsolicited emails, advising: “The rule of thumb is that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is - don’t trust it.”
The scam email shows that Amazon’s impending launch is already being leveraged by criminals. This unfortunately will not be the only scam fraudsters use to take advantage of the Amazon launch. You can stay one step ahead of scammers by following these basic tips:

  1. Type the business name into a trusted search engine & review the results
  2. Look at the websites connection type, a website that has 'https' tag at the beginning is usually more secure and therefore more trustworthy than a 'http' designation
  3. Check the site's security status in the browser's address bar. For most browsers a 'safe' website will display a green padlock icon to the left of the website's URL
  4. Review the websites URL to make sure there are no additional words, characters, dashes or symbols.  Also ensure the Domain name does not imitate an actual business (e.g. Amaz0n instead of Amazon)
  5. Look for bad english and grammar on the site.  Poor spelling, poor grammar, or awkward phrasing should immediately ring alarm bells of the sites authenticity.

If you think you have fallen victim too fraud, it is important you contact your financial institution immediately.

For more information simply contact us on (03) 5560 3900.

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