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Why you should take extra caution with emails from your boss

Australian businesses have been hit with a spate of sophisticated email scams, and one which impersonates directors and manages has taken off. 

Career Reporter 08 May 2019
— 1 minute read

Scammers are gaining significant traction in hacking business email systems, and impersonating key personnel in senior management, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Often, these emails replicate the name and signature of the senior manager, and request a favour of their employee. This includes making an online purchase, or supplying sensitive information.

Accounting firms are legally obliged to prevent, manage and report threats of this nature, under laws which were passed last year.

Under the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme, firms are required to notify the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) when a relevant breach has occurred. A reportable breach is defined by an event where personal information held by a firm is lost or subject to unauthorised access.

In 2018, the ACCC reported losses exceeding over $60 million to Australian businesses.


The risks in swiping right

The ACCC also found younger Australians are also being targeted through dating apps in 2019, which is an important consideration if they are housed on phones which are also used for work purposes. 

There was a 20 per cent increase in financial losses for 2018 from dating and romance scams, compared to 2017.

The ACCC's Scamwatch received almost 4,000 reports of dating and romance scams last year, and revealed that women are four times more likely to report having lost money to a romance scam, having reported total financial losses of almost $20 million last year alone.

Losses reported where the scammer and victim met on an app have increased more than 300 per cent in the past two years, naming mobile apps such as Tinder, Viber and Messenger as culprit hosts.

Why you should take extra caution with emails from your boss
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