CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Internet

ACCC cracks down on online payment phishing scam

The ACCC is warning Australians about a phishing scam calling for payment of bogus gas or electricity bills, as part of a crackdown on online fraud.

Priceless image by NapInterrupted, CC BY-ND 2.0

The ACCC has warned Australians about a phishing email asking consumers to pay bogus gas or electricity bills, as part of a wider crack down on email scams and online fraud.

According to the ACCC, the emails "purport to be from legitimate energy companies and look like the real deal", with requests for payment on outstanding accounts or claims that consumers have exceeded their energy use limit and can receive a discount if they pay straight away.

"The email directs you to click on a link or attachment to view your statement and arrange payment," the ACCC said. "If you click, your computer may become infected with malicious software that allows scammers to remote access into your computer and watch you entering personal information such as online banking details."

The ACCC said it has received a large number or reports about the scam, which leads consumers to realistic looking payment websites, resulting in wire transfers that are virtually impossible to trace or recover.

The warning comes just months after the competition watchdog lifted the lid on just how much Australians lost to online romance scams in 2013. According to the ACCC, 2770 reports of romance scams were reported in 2013, with Australians losing $25.3 million all up.