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21 January 2021
In this issue:
Consumer Protection has recently become aware of the re-emergence of an online impersonation scam that affects the property industry.
Payment redirection scams, such as the one outlined in our recent media statement, stem from a larger cybercrime referred to as Business Email Compromise where cybercriminals impersonate a business to trick people into transferring money or sensitive information. Scammers do this by gaining remote access to an email account or using an email address that appears legitimate and almost identical to the trusted business email address. The scammer sends what appears to be a legitimate email request for sensitive information or payment to a new updated bank account.
It is important for agencies to establish secure practices that reduce a cybercriminal’s ability to intercept communications and financial transactions for their own financial gain.
To manage the risk of a payment redirection scam, consider:
We encourage agencies to obtain cyber insurance that adequately protects their business from internet-based risks, such as impersonation scams.
We are currently reviewing the cause and effect of scams and fraud that affect the property industry. Part of this review will include updating our guidance notes, materials and advice to you. We will provide updated information when it is available.
There are a number of online resources available to help you safeguard your data and processes.
The following sites offer scam alert subscriptions to keep you informed:
The Australian Government is seeking input on draft laws to enable automatic mutual recognition (AMR) of registered occupations, such as settlement agents, across states and territories.
AMR aims to boost workforce mobility by allowing someone who is licensed or registered in one jurisdiction to be considered registered to perform the same job elsewhere, without the need for detailed application processes or additional registration fees.
You can have your say on the changes to the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth) by Friday 12 February 2021.
More information on draft changes and how to submit a response is available on the Occupational Mobility consultation webpage.