Online Scam Awareness

Introduction

We have seen an increasingly number of posts recently regarding online scams. We have tried to put together a simple guide on the types of scams, what to look out for and more importantly where to report them.

Types of Scams

Scams come in lots of different varieties:

  • Emails.
  • Texts.
  • Websites.
  • Adverts (e.g. Facebook marketplace, Willhaben etc)
  • phone calls.
  • Scam Buyers.

Recently reported scams include fake SMS messages pretending to be your child and needing help, Fake Finance Ministry messages and fake messages from DHL and the Post Office. This lists the Austrian Watchlist for Internet Scams in German.

Prevention

Here are some recommendations to help you from getting scammed:

  • Always be on the alert especially when using a mobile device.
  • Check telephone numbers independently and do not just use the number in the text message.
  • Be very careful of calls from unknown numbers.
  • Always use a good Internet Security package, even on mobiles and yes Apple equipment can have viruses.
  • Beware clicking on links from sources you are not familiar with.
  • On a desktop hover over links before clicking on them, you will see if the link looks genuine.
  • For websites targeting the Austrian market look for an Impressum/Imprint, Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions. Be very suspicious of websites without a physical contact address.
  • Check the tips section from this English Speakers in Austria guide on searching for accommodation
  • Report & block spam numbers on Android or iOS.

Please note that Austria has some very strict regulations on Cold Calling (i.e. it is not allowed unless previously agreed, exception being opinion polls)

Reporting

Reporting scams on Facebook doesn’t always help; it is better that scams are reported to the official authorities as it may help others. If you have been a victim of Cybercrime you will need to report it to the police

Austria

This link from the English Speakers in Austria team provides a useful resource for reporting Cyber Crime including an email address.

This link from the Telecommunications Office includes forms to report unwanted advertising mail, advertising SMS, advertising fax, unsolicited calls

UK

The UK National Cyber Security Centre has a useful page on reporting scams in the UK. If you have a UK email address or mobile number it is worth reporting them via the UK bodies.

Stop Check Report

Useful Links


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