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AFP urges Australians to improve their cyber security

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The Joint Policing Cybercrime Coordination Centre (JPC3) is urging Australians to take steps to protect themselves against scammers who are selling fake tickets to the highly-anticipated Taylor Swift concert this week. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has received reports of social media profiles being hacked and used to sell counterfeit tickets to popular concerts, leaving unsuspecting fans disappointed and out of pocket.

Scammers have been posing as helpful neighbours and friends on residential and neighborhood community pages, taking advantage of fans’ excitement and eagerness to attend the concert. In some cases, scammers have hacked into social media accounts to make direct contact with potential victims. Once the fake tickets are purchased, the scammer pockets the money, leaving fans without tickets and the real account owner to deal with the aftermath.

To protect against such scams, the AFP is advising Australians to take the following steps to secure their online accounts:
– Enable multi-factor authentication on personal accounts, such as using face scans or fingerprints on electronic devices.
– Use strong passphrases comprised of three or more random words, including a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
– Use different passphrases for various accounts, systems, and applications.
– Report any hacked social media accounts to the platform and to Scamwatch.
– Report any scams to Scamwatch and purchase concert tickets only from authorized resellers.

According to AFP Commander Chris Goldsmid, it is crucial for Australians to practice good cyber hygiene to protect themselves from cybercriminals, even beyond the context of high-profile events such as the Taylor Swift concert. Goldsmid emphasized that cybercriminals will exploit any opportunity to profit from people’s love and eagerness to see their favorite artists perform, and encouraged individuals to report any suspicious activity or scams immediately.

The National Anti-Scam Centre has already received over 270 reports of people falling victim to scams involving Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” tickets via social media since the tickets went on sale in Australia in June 2023. Goldsmid stressed the importance of being cautious and recognizing when an offer seems too good to be true, in order to avoid falling victim to scams.

The JPC3, which brings together Australian law enforcement and industry partners, is dedicated to combatting cybercrime and preventing financial loss and harm to the Australian community. They are committed to providing resources and knowledge to help all Australians protect themselves from cybercrime and are encouraging individuals to watch their cybercrime prevention videos on YouTube.

In the case of an immediate threat to life or risk of harm, individuals are advised to call 000 for emergency assistance. Additionally, anyone in need of support can reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyondblue on 1300 224 636, both of which provide 24/7 support services.

The AFP’s efforts to raise awareness about cybersecurity and protect Australians against cybercrime are crucial in the face of increasing online threats, and individuals are strongly encouraged to take proactive steps to safeguard their online accounts and personal information.

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