Watch out for a web of deceit

POSING as desperate parents of sick children is just one way con-artists may try to scam internet users, Tweed/Byron Police have warned.

Crime Prevention Officer Senior Constable Andrew Eppelstun said people need to be aware of internet crime including frauds and scams.

“Internet crime is a growing concern,” Snr Cnst Eppelstun said.

“Locally there have been recent cases where internet scammers have posed as desperate parents of sick children to get money for operations and urgent medical treatment.

“These criminals appeal to our altruistic instincts to protect and care for children, to weaken our resolve and con victims out of their money.

“These fraudsters usually use money transfer services such as Western Union that assist with evading detection.”

Alternately, Snr Cnst Eppelstun said, criminals appeal to greed by promising foreign lottery wins, Nigerian oil money or a profitable part in some foreign money transfer on the basis that some funds are provided to initiate the transfer.

He also warned about email scams, usually a fake email from a bank asking you to enter your username and password for internet banking via a link, this email then links to a bogus site, and the fraudsters get your user details and access to your bank account.

Snr Cnst Eppelstun advised people to never respond to an email from a bank with any username or password entry, never respond to either an email or letter claiming you have won a foreign lottery and never send money to a person who you do not know, or have just met online, no matter how sad the story.

“If you have elderly relatives or friends on the internet, help them to understand this,” Snr Cnst Eppelstun said.

“Likewise, if you have children and young teenagers on the net, monitor their activities as much as is needed to ensure their safety, and talk to kids about these dangers.”

Have you come into contact with scams like this? Have your save - leave a comment below.

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