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From Russia with Love, (allegedly).

Clever TEXT ScamWith the advent of SmartPhones that give us all immediate access to the internet, it seems the scammers have rather cleverly spotted and opportunity to separate you from your hard earned cash.

You might be having a relaxing glass of wine at the end of a hard week or busily preparing for a flurry of Monday morning meetings when you receive a TEXT on your smartphone, with a web link, very much like the attached.

Obviously the major Banks already own their “real” URL’s, so the scammers build a similar URL for a scamming site. These “Ghost sites” are so alike to what customers might expect to see from their bank that for they happily log in and re-confirm all of the ID information and passwords.

The scammers then have full access to all accounts and the poor victims’ ID information.

Remember that our eyes and brains “Read” strings of words like a URL address based on what we expect to see; where as our SmartPhones “Read” the letters literally one by one. The scammers have realised this and a TEXT to a busy or distracted person that says..

VVESTPAC.COM.AU     Note Two upper case  V’s   looks very like

WESTPAC.COM.AU       which of course is the real website

These are often overseas based scams (allegedly Soviet Blok) and the irony of the geographical population’s tendency to mix up V’s and W’s in the accent would be amusing if the consequences weren’t so great.

There seems to be nothing legally one can do in Australia about these attempts. As always diligence is the key.

Stay safe.

Steve Daley

Healthcare Financial Strategies

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