Australians ripped off in online ‘criminal background check’ scam

Australians are being warned to be wary when responding to emails and other online communications, after reports of a social engineering scam ring emerged last week.

On Friday (October 12), the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) posted a news release detailing elements of the crime, which has involved communications being disguised as coming from positions of authority in order to gain users trust and obtain access to private information.

Official logos belonging to the ACC, as well as the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), have been attached to emails which attempt to trick users into paying approximately $200 to obtain a fraudulent criminal background check.

The ACC has emphasised that it does not provide criminal background checks to the public and warned people not to be fooled by the fake logos.

While this particular scam has had a relatively low financial impact on those affected, it nevertheless stands to highlight the potential of social engineering to trick internet users into unsafe online behaviour.

Any organisation concerned about this threat might want to consider undergoing a Red Cell ethical hacking evaluation, which utilises social engineering as part of a thorough assessment of a business s vulnerability management protocols.

Anybody who has received an email of this nature or believes they have been affected by an online scam is encouraged to visit the official SCAMwatch website for more information.

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