Remember to stay smart online

There are many risks faced with the use of cyberspace but Port Lincoln residents and businesses are proving they are one step ahead in identifying the “trickery” by potential scammers. 

This week is Stay Smart Online week in a bid to raise awareness about the ways people can protect themselves online and one Port Lincoln business knows the importance of being aware online.

While Lincoln Computer Centre owner Greg Williams was being interviewed on Tuesday, he was in the middle of an email conversation with an alleged scammer. 

“I'm in the middle of a conversation now with a guy, from probably overseas, who wants to know if we fix computers and he wants me to fix 20 computers and upgrade them to Windows 10,” he said. 

Some of the email read: I authorise you to run my credit card for $4600 while you keep $2000 as deposit for your service... have the remaining $2500 sent to the charter bus driver that will bring my family for the service via a bank transfer. 

“Once you've seen them, it's a piece of cake to recognise,” Mr Williams said. 

Port Lincoln resident Angela Cordon recently picked up a scam that was harder to spot, with an email allegedly from her internet provider Internode, which read: 

“Dear Subscriber,

“On Monday, October 9, 2017, we noticed that your internode Email account has a security issue and has been tagged for deletion in our database.

“Accounts are automatically deleted after 48hours of this notice. Once deleted, the account cannot be reactivated.

“We need to verify your account. Click Here and Login.”

Ms Cordon said the big red flag for her was the fact the email started with “Dear Subscriber”.

“As soon as I saw it, it seemed a bit weird that Internode would be contacting me like that,” she said. 

Mr Williams said he dealt with customers experiencing emails like Ms Cordon’s almost on a daily basis.

“I put it all under the banner of trickery, so in other words, these days most of the trouble comes under people being tricked and believing something which is not true.

“So the biggest single defense online is a healthy skeptical attitude.”

Mr Williams suggested always getting a second opinion with suspicious online activity as there were very clever emails, webpages and phone calls.

“All sorts of people new or inexperienced or very experienced can be caught by a well-constructed scam.”