Watch out for Scams in the Wake of the Optus Data Breach

The Optus data breach is the largest breach of its kind that has left a renowned Company like Optus in a nightmare scenario. Following an anonymous hack from  the dark web, the data of 9.4 million Australians is probably compromised. To be precise, the hacker released the private information of around 10,000 Australians on a dark web forum and later deleted the post.

Days since the breach was announced, it is still uncertain to some customers as to whether they have been directly affected or not. What’s even worse, the blowback will most likely go beyond the Company and its customers into the way Australian personal businesses are carried out for months. The potential damage caused by this data breach is staggering and as such, the resulting cost and inconvenience may even extend over international borders.

As Australians struggle with rising inflation, the country’s financial vulnerability is on the rise and scammers are taking advantage of this. Following the cyberattack on the telecom giant, Optus, millions of customers are at risk of identity theft. This is because the hack breached Optus customers’ online security, exposing the private and confidential information of millions of customers. Names, Email addresses, Dates of birth, Phone numbers, Passport numbers, and driver’s license are some of the details leaked. Scammers are already executing various scams to cash in from the massive Optus data breach. As such, Optus customers and all other individuals need to be extremely cautious and protect themselves from scams.

One of the most notorious scam to watch out for is the Hi Mum scam. This scam originated in Europe but since then, it has spread widely, and especially since the Optus data breach. Numerous Australians have already fallen victims to this weird scam. It is a mobile phone scam where a scammer sends a text to a target victim from an unknown number claiming to be their child with a new number. The scammer then requests emergency money with the excuse that they are unable to access their current funds, maybe because they cannot access online banking services.

Statistically, the “Hi Mum” Scam has resulted in about $2 million being stolen from Australian mothers. You can bet that the actual figure is way bigger than this. In most cases, this text message fraud has gone undetected.

Overall, you should be very cautious to avoid falling victim to any suspicious people contacting you and trying to use the Optus breach. In any case, if you ever doubt the legitimacy of a text, an email, or a phone call, it is only wise that you directly contact the company the message claims to be from. Contact them via the official channels rather than any links or phone numbers provided in the suspicious message or email.

Have you been a victim of any scams trying to take advantage of the Optus data breach? Has anyone contacted you and tried to mention something to do with Optus? If yes, please feel free to share your story with Scam Help to help warn other fellow citizens. Let’s all be vigilant for collective protection of society from these notorious scammers.

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