‘Stay vigilant’ Woolworths warns, as latest scam targets job seekers

By Cathryn Boyes
Australians are being urged to stay vigilant after another round of scam text messages. Photo: TND/Getty

The latest scam appearing on smartphones around the country is particularly nasty, targeting Australians who are looking for work.

A text message, which appears to come from a Woolworths hiring manager, promises recipients a job in exchange for a daily salary.

“I am an Woolworths project manager, we are hiring a team, you can work from home, daily salary: 200+whatsapp understand,” the text reads.

It then provides a link.

Woolworths has confirmed the SMS is not affiliated with the supermarket.

“We’ve heard reports that scam activity is on the rise across Australia and it’s important for our customers to remain vigilant,” a Woolworths spokesperson told The New Daily.

“Online and text phishing scams seek to imitate well-known brands to collect personal information, but we would never ask our customers for their personal or banking details in unsolicited communications.”

They said job seekers could look for new roles on the Woolies website.

This has been identified as a “smishing” scam – which means it has been circulated via SMS and is attempting to steal data by convincing the recipient to tap on a link or enter details.

The ACCC has received more than 16000 reports of similar smishing attacks recently, including texts about missed calls or parcel deliveries.

“If you receive one of these messages, do not click or tap on the link. Delete the message immediately”, ScamWatch advises.

It comes as Australians are more vulnerable to job and employment scams, costing a total $921,627 as of August 2021, according to the organisation.

As reported by The New Daily in September, effective unemployment has spiked across Victoria and NSW during coronavirus lockdowns.

Hundreds of thousands of workers have been laid off or stood down since July.

Cybersecurity expert Stephen Kho said while the number of attacks is on the rise, the biggest threat to data security is a “lack of cyber mindfulness”.

“The truth is that the online world is evolving fast and everyone with a digital footprint has something valuable cybercriminals crave – personal data,” Mr Kho said.

He said many Australians don’t realise how easily they can become a victim of cyber crime, and offered some tips to stay safe on your devices.

How to practise ‘cyber mindfulness’:

  1. Look carefully at the sender. Scammers usually have an email address or phone number that has nothing to do with the company they claim to be from. Even if they mention you by name, it could be a scam
  2. If it looks suspicious, don’t click on any links, download any attachments, or reply. Even if it seems to be from a familiar person or institution
  3. Never enter your bank information online unless the word “secure” appears in the address bar
  4. If an offer is “too good to be true” – It is probably not true
  5. Beware of scare tactics! It might say your account has been suspended or someone has stolen from you. But if you need to ‘check now at this link’ it is not real. Hackers use fear to try to get you to hand over sensitive data.

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