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Optus hack victims face fresh threats from cyber criminals

Cyber criminals looking to cash in on the Optus data breach have been harassing Optus hack victims with fake SIM card replacement requests, fake compensation claims and other general threats.

user iconReporter
Tue, 18 Oct 2022
Optus hack victims face fresh threats from cyber criminals
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has received hundreds of complaints following the leak, as those affected attempt to fight off the scammers.

The ACCC urged those who receive unexpected phone calls not to release personal or financial information.

“Scammers are calling people to advise that there has been a suspicious purchase or transaction on their online account. They may claim there is a problem because of the Optus data breach. They will request your personal or financial information, such as credit card details,” the ACCC stated.

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The scams can feature different types of content, using the Optus logo, advising a customer has had an error with a bill payment.

“If you receive an unexpected call, check your account independently or contact the organisation in a secure way,” the ACCC said.

The ACCC added that those targeted could expect an increase in phishing emails, phone calls, texts or messages on social media.

People are being urged not to believe these contacts and bolster their personal security by updating account passwords.

Optus customers who may have had their data stolen are urged to:

  • Secure bank accounts, apply for a credit ban where necessary to stop people from taking out loans in your name
  • Contact your super fund
  • Replace your driver’s license, Medicare card and passport
  • Change account passwords
  • Be careful of possible scam calls/messages

“Optus is not contacting people about issuing new SIM cards. Delete these messages,” the ACCC warned.

The ACCC also received reports of fake emails advising breach victims the hackers had been caught and ordered to pay for their actions.

The opportunistic, malicious cyber actors have even gone as far as to imitate the government, with Medicare branding plastered over fake emails requesting payments.

Around the country, people are lining up to change their personal information, including driver’s licenses and passport numbers.

Although initially said to be a “sophisticated attack”, Optus is facing backlash over speculation that the breach allowed hackers to “opportunistically steal the information”.

The telco has announced it has employed Deloitte to conduct a review into its cyber security and processes.

[Related: Medibank shares take a dive after ransomware threat]

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