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TAFE NSW Cyber Security teacher's top tips for avoiding scams this Christmas

TAFE NSW Cyber Security teacher's top tips for avoiding scams this Christmas

TAFE NSW Cyber Security Head Teacher Ashraf Salem has revealed valuable tips on safeguarding against scams this festive season, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission estimating Australians lost more than $3b due to scams in 2022.

New data from Westpac Bank reveals consumer scams have increased 47 per cent compared to last year and are expected to peak in December as Australians rush to finish their Christmas shopping.

“At TAFE NSW, we are intensifying our efforts to upskill the next generation of cyber security professionals amid a dramatic spike in cyber-attacks in recent months,” Ashraf said.

“Cyber security is among Australia’s most in-demand jobs, and we expect there will be demand for nearly 30,000 cyber security graduates by 2026.”

Awareness of common online scams is crucial to preventing them. According to Ashraf, Australians should be wary of:

  1. Online shopping scams: Be careful when shopping online, especially if you come across deals that seem too good to be true. Some fraudsters create fake websites that look like legitimate online stores, so be sure to double-check before making any purchases.
  2. Impersonation scams: Some scammers will pretend to be trustworthy brands or organisations to get your personal information or money. Always be wary of unexpected requests for sensitive information or payments.
  3. Parcel delivery scams: It's always exciting to receive a package but be careful if you receive an unexpected email or message asking for payment or personal details related to a delivery. Double-check the sender and make sure it's a legitimate courier service.
  4. Fake classified ads: If you're buying something online through a classified ad or online marketplace, be cautious about paying in advance. Scammers may take your money and never deliver the goods.
  5. Toll scams: Some scammers will send fake toll notices, hoping to trick you into clicking on malicious links or making unnecessary payments. Always double-check the source of any unexpected notices.
  6. Payment via unsecured methods: Be cautious of any requests for payment through direct bank transfer or cryptocurrency. These methods are often used by scammers, so be sure to confirm the legitimacy of any payment requests before proceeding.

“While online fraud is a year-round issue, Christmas sees a spike in opportunistic scams. By increasing your awareness and following some simple tips, Australians can enjoy a safe festive season, free from the worries of cyber threats,” Ashraf said.

Ashraf’s tips to staying cyber safe include:

  1. Be careful with links: If you receive an email or text from an unknown source, don't click on any links until you verify the source.
  2. Don't rush into things: Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency to make you act quickly. So, take your time and think before making any decisions.
  3. Check authenticity: Before making any transactions, make sure to do some research and verify the authenticity of the website and offers. Look for reviews and official contact details.
  4. Don't hesitate to act: If you have any doubts about a transaction, contact your bank immediately. Quick action can prevent any financial loss.
  5. Report any suspicious activity: If you suspect any scams, do your part by reporting to the authorities like the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

Media contact: Sarah James, Communications Specialist,