Is Your SMSF Account Safe from Foreign Cybercriminals?
Sophisticated cybercriminals are increasingly laying their sights on Australia’s $700 billion self managed superannuation fund powerhouse. They are probing the defenses of these funds by targeting a series of players in the industry ranging from lawyers to fund managers and brokers in order to access client accounts and steal money.
Their primary technique for getting access to these large pools of funds is through identity theft of login details of customers, staff members, financial brokers, lawyers or an accounting firm Melbourne has. They use any weak link with access to critical sites that would allow them access into the funds’ assets and other critical information. Once inside, they can always plot a bigger heist and go unnoticed due to the “quiet” nature of super funds.
Traditionally, many Australians have been targeted by cybercriminals mainly through romance scams and the so called 419 scams. But this is the first time Australia’s 600,000 or so self managed super funds are coming under a massive attack by the scammers. They have identified a low hanging fruit and judging by the increased interest, they are likely seeing some successes although it is difficult to quantify how much is being lost at this time.
The shift to the SMSFs may be due to pressure from elsewhere. Many Australian banks that have been traditional targets have now upped their online defenses and are seeing fewer breaches so the criminals are searching for newer weak links in Australia’s lucrative financial system. The funds are also a prime target because they involve a very low level of monitoring by customers and fund managers than savings, retirement accounts and stocks for example. This allows the criminals to move large amounts of stationary money without sounding off any signals, at least initially.
Combating Identity Theft
There is need for SMSFs to update their security protocols to meet the challenge of modern cybersecurity threats. The key culprit is identity theft. Cybercriminals are stealing customers’ identities and using them to open accounts and apply for loans. To identify and mitigate vulnerabilities in their systems, some super schemes are employing risk management consultants to help in “hardening” their systems and keep them safe from cybercriminals.
As a customer, there are additional steps that you can undertake to minimize the risk of identity theft. These include the following:-
Do some rubbish sifting: Scammers have a bit of initiative. They will go to great lengths to steal people’s identities. That includes sifting through the rubbish looking for bank statements, bills and other important financial information that may give away your identity. Make sure you shred all your important financial documents.
Watch out on phishing scams: Phishing is one of the most popular techniques used by cybercriminals to steal people’s identities. The scammers will trick you into handing over important personal information. They can do this through an email or SMS that appears as if it has come from your financial institution or a reputable source. They can also create replica websites or sign-in pages of your financial institution and use these to trick you into handing over your personal details. Always take time to verify the authenticity of websites or documents that you receive in your email by giving the domain name URL a second look.
Protect yourself on social networks: Be careful about the amount of personal information that you divulge on social media and deploy the necessary privacy settings to protect your identity.
You should also watch out on the activity in your accounts. Talk to a professional accounting firm Melbourne has to carry out periodic audits on your finances in order to determine if there is anything unusual.