Be on the alert for online scams

This Scams Awareness Week (November 7-11), we are encouraging our veteran community to be on alert for online scams targeting your personal information and banking details. Protecting your personal information on social media is pivotal to preventing being scammed or having your identity stolen.

Social media channels are where you connect, chat and celebrate with your family and friends. Stay in control of your social media by choosing what things you share, and who gets to see them.

Your personal information that can be stolen from social media includes:

  • the time you made the post,
  • your location when you made the post,
  • links to your social media profile,
  • personal details about yourself, including contact information, birthday or gender,
  • links to the friends or other people you’ve connected with,
  • links to the friends or other people that are tagged in the post,
  • identified faces of people in a photo or video, and links to their social media profiles, and
  • locations from a photo or video.

The NSW Department of Education has a great resource to help you update and upgrade your social media privacy settings to prevent identity theft and scams.

Recent media reports on data breaches and scams, such as the Optus data breach, have highlighted the importance of maintaining your online security. Identity theft can happen to anyone, and it pays to be vigilant and know how much information you are giving out publically. Many scams occur through online and email activities, so if you are not expecting a request to update information or to receive a refund or a prize, do not give out your personal information until you are sure it is legitimate.

Any SMS received from us will have ‘DVA’ written in the sender identification and we will never ask for your client details via SMS or email. If you get a SMS asking for your client details, myGov or MyService sign in details, do not open the SMS and don’t click on any links.

You can call us on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) to check that we sent you the message if you are concerned.

The Australian Competition and Consumers Commission’s ScamWatch website provides advice and information on what to do if you think you have been scammed and resources to help you secure your online activities. Additionally, the Be Connected website has been established especially for those over the age of 50 to assist in navigating online safely and securely. A series of webinars will also be running throughout Scams Awareness Week to build on existing knowledge.