Sib­lings tell of sep­a­rate spam scams

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By NATALIE HOLMES

AS a lo­cal busi­ness­man of many years, Craig John­ston knows there can be many pit­falls, in­clud­ing the threat of scams.

“I was hacked in the busi­ness bank ac­count,” he said.

“It does cause a lot of drama. You’re out of pocket for that time. It puts a bind on your cash flow.”

Mr John­ston has also re­ceived un­so­licited phone calls and emails but for­tu­nately hasn’t been a vic­tim of spam.

“I get them all the time but I just delete them. I’ve never been scammed.”

Mr John­ston agrees that dodgy deal­ings are in­creas­ing all the time.

“There’s a lot of scams go­ing on out there – I’ve been called by the so-called tax of­fice. You’ve got to be cau­tious in this day and age – even when you call some­one up, it’s ev­ery­where. Some­times it’s hard to know which emails and phone calls are ridgey didge.

“The best thing to do is just shop in store.”

Craig’s sis­ter Donna Fal­coner was the vic­tim of an email hack­ing scam a few years ago which also jeop­ar­dised the char­ity she founded to give prac­ti­cal help to those go­ing through cancer.

“The Pink An­gels email was hacked a few years ago. It was on the June long week­end. The hack­ers sent out an email to all my con­tacts say­ing that I was in jail

Have you been a vic­tim and are will­ing to share your story? Call 6885 4433 or email feed­back@ dub­bopho­tonews.

It could hap­pen to you: Lo­cal busi­ness­man

Craig John­ston and com­mu­nity leader Donna Fal­coner have both been vic­tims of on­line crime, hav­ing been spammed, scammed or hacked. in another coun­try and needed to be bailed out.

“For­tu­nately, it went to peo­ple that knew it wasn’t true and we were able to change the pass­word and start email­ing con­tacts.”

Ms Fal­coner said the ex­pe­ri­ence was un­nerv­ing.

“It was scary and, be­ing a char­ity, it af­fected all our con­tacts.”

While the com­puter was pro­tected by anti-virus and spy­ware pro­tec­tion, some­how the hacker still found a way to ac­cess the Pink An­gels in­for­ma­tion.

“For­tu­nately, it was in the early days and peo­ple knew it was fake.”

Ms Fal­coner says that scams can hap­pen to any­one and par­tic­u­larly has con­cerns for some of the more se­nior mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

“It’s def­i­nitely in­creased as we have more com­mu­ni­ca­tion, more email ad­dresses.

“It’s just a mat­ter of be­ing savvy and aware. What wor­ries me is the older gen­er­a­tion like my par­ents. They might click on an email that’s spam with­out re­al­is­ing it. That’s the big­gest thing that wor­ries me on a per­sonal level.

“Peo­ple just need to have aware­ness that if it looks sus­pi­cious, it prob­a­bly is. It’s just worth tak­ing the time to check,” she said. MO­TORISTS trav­el­ling along the Golden High­way at Elong Elong will soon have a safer and smoother sec­tion of road with a $620,000 road up­grade progressing well.

Mem­ber for Dubbo Troy Grant said this week the NSW Govern­ment-funded project would in­volve re­build­ing a 1.5 kilo­me­tre sec­tion of the road about 50 kilo­me­tres east of Dubbo.

“The ex­ist­ing road sur­face was rough and re­quired re­moval and re­place­ment,” Mr Grant said.

“Dubbo Re­gional Coun­cil is car­ry­ing out the work on be­half of Roads and Mar­itime Ser­vices on week­days and Satur­days be­tween 7am and 6pm, weather per­mit­ting, and is ex­pected to take five weeks to com­plete.”

Aus­tralians lost $340 mil­lion to scam­mers in 2017 – that’s the high­est amount since the ACCC be­gan re­port­ing on scam ac­tiv­ity in Aus­tralia. PHOTO: DARCEE NIXON

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