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Raising awareness and warning about online scams

Published 12 January 2019

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We recently had a friend request from a person claiming to be Arianna. We did not confirm if this was a legitimate person but we do not know this person. A quick search on Google pointed us towards an Australian warning about blackmail scams.

Introduction

We recently received a request to become a friend on Skype from a person claiming to be Arianna. I did not confirm if this was a legitimate person but we do not have any history with this person. A quick search on Google pointed us towards an Australian warning about blackmail scams.

Users of video services, such as Skype, should be aware of a variety of scams that may use footage and images captured without your knowledge, to blackmail you. Although other online activities may be used, including online dating sites. The Australian news agency, ABC, has published a number of articles about people's experiences. We have chosen two online dating situations as examples.

Case Study 1: A man seduced by "Aleksandra" goes public to warn others (abc.net.au) (wayback). The seemingly normal man shares the details of his 3-month dialogue with scammers who assumed the alias of a Russian woman on a popular Australian dating site.

Case Study 2: A former Canberra, Australia, childcare worker admitted to a catfish scam (abc.net.au) (wayback) in which she used a fake Instagram account and dating app to trick 10 men into sending her more than $300,000.

What should you do?

There are various respected authorities that give guidance on dealing with these situations. The Australian Government suggests the following precautions:

Do you want more information? Click here to go to the Stay Smart Online (wayback) webpage.

Thinking about privacy

In this brave new world of privacy conscious computer usage and smart devices, it is important to think of the younger members of the family around you. Regardless of how much younger people interact with the Internet, it is important to think critically about privacy. This article called, 5 tips of helping children think critically about privacy.

thinking critically about children's privacy online

Website user registrations

Wesite user registrations are another potential source of strife. We give our heartfelt thanks to all of our online friends who have registered on this website. For the scammers out there using bots to register on our site then move on to the next website. We know that this plea will fall on deaf ears, or should we say blind bits, but it needs to be said.

online user registration hackers

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