If it seems suss that Woolies is texting to offer you more than $200 per day to work from home – it’s because it probably is.
A cruel new pandemic scam has emerged in recent days, with criminals again impersonating Australian supermarket giants to trick people out of their cash.
Would-be victims are receiving text messages from a “Woolworths team leader” promising more than $200 in daily pay and no need to come into the store.
The message contains a link that ultimately acts as a pathway for scammers to access your device and personal details.
It resembles similar scams that have emerged over the past 18 months, targeting people who may be out of the workforce and stuck at home, with mega-corporations Woolies and Coles used to create a veneer of legitimacy.
Coles customers were targeted by a gift card scam earlier in the year, while a “Flubot” scam also sent people fake texts that a parcel was on the way.
Woolworths said the jobs text was an unauthorised message and not affiliated with the company in any way, with all jobs advertised on its website.
“We’ve heard reports that scam activity is on the rise across Australia and it’s important for our customers to remain vigilant,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.
“Online and text phishing scams seek to imitate well-known brands to collect personal information, but we would never ask our customers for their personal or banking details in unsolicited communications.”
Courier scams, voicemail scams and fake giveaways are among a range of strategies that have been used by criminals during the pandemic, with jobs and employment scams alone costing Australians $921,627 since August, according to ScamWatch.
The general advice from experts is to ignore these texts and be cyber mindful and cautious when receiving texts from unknown numbers.
Avast cyber security expert Stephen Kho said Australians should follow these tips to protect themselves from phishing scams:
Look carefully at the sender’s address. Attackers usually have an email address that has nothing to do with the company they claim to be from. Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly difficult to detect because the attackers use a variety of personal information that we share about ourselves online and use new technologies to send us sophisticated personalised emails.
Do not click, download or reply. If you feel the email looks suspicious, don’t click on any links, download any attachment, or reply, even if it comes from a person or institution you know. It is safer to enter website URLs directly into the browser. Also, never enter your bank information on the web unless the word “Secure” appears in the address bar.
Don’t trust offers that are “too good to be true”. These offers are typically found in phishing emails. Make sure you have a powerful antivirus program installed that can detect and block phishing attacks before they cause damage.
Beware of emails that invoke fear. Phishing attacks are likely to tell you that your account has been suspended, that you have not paid any fees or that someone has tried to rob you, and that you need to check now at this link. All this is just a game aimed at extracting your valuable personal data from you.
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