It happens to us all, no matter how vigilant we are in protecting ourselves online. Somehow cyber criminals get hold of your email address and try to trick and scam you into taking an action that could have serious ramifications. Email scams, or phishing as it is known, are prevalent worldwide and they will not be stopping or slowing down anytime soon.
These email scams are designed by cyber criminals who target consumers and large enterprises around the world, including Telstra and our customers. These emails are designed to look very authentic, often including company logos and slogans, to trick you into opening them.
Call these scams by any name you want but at the end of the day, they are designed to steal and trick you into surrendering your personal details, take control of your computer or launch malicious software (malware) which could steal your sensitive information.
At Telstra we are not immune from cyber crime. Some of our customers are currently being targeted by cyber criminals through an email bill scam. The sophisticated scam is coming from an email and website address registered overseas which is not in any way affiliated with Telstra.
This latest email scam has targeted many of our customers by looking like a fairly legitimate bill, however, it encourages customers to click on a link and download a zip file, which contains malware.
Be vigilant and constantly on the lookout for unsolicited emails that arrive from delivery companies, banks, telcos and retailers with whom you have no association. Forensically check the email address it comes from – this is where you may notice a slight difference or spelling error.
We encourage our customers to look for red flags when these sorts of emails arrive – being vigilant is the key:
- Check the address the email is sent from – in this case many of the emails appear to have been sent from telstraq.com – this is not a legitimate Telstra website, so check for subtle changes, for example telstrar.com. If you notice this, don’t respond, open attachments or click on any links in these emails or messages – simply delete them;
- Stay with trusted websites and mobile applications; only conduct business on websites that you know and trust. Type the website address into the browser each time you visit the website or save it in your favourites. And avoid websites or software unless you are confident they are legitimate;
- Check that website addresses are written or spelled correctly and look for secure connections through ‘https’ on sites where you are entering personal or sensitive data;
- Never respond to requests for personal information in an unexpected email or pop-up window;
- If in doubt, contact the company that claims to be the sender of the email, using their official contact details; and
- Make sure all your devices are protected by installing regular software updates and anti-virus software.
Using these tips will help keep you safe from scammers. At Telstra, our team of hundreds of cyber security experts will also continue to help stop these scam emails before they get to you where possible, and continue to work try to help keep you safe online.