How do I protect myself without spending hours of time, money and mental load?
Delia: First of all, you need to be constantly aware that scams are out there. You should have strong antivirus software on all your devices and strong passwords. I know people hate that, but that is important.
Remember that you can never really know who you’re dealing with online — by which I mean social media, SMS phone calls, emails. So you do need to be on guard and remember that scammers will almost always pretend to be a trusted entity, a government agency, a bank or major retailer, or they will be tapping in on current events.
So we’re seeing scams and scammers at the moment call and have an excuse that they’re calling because of the Optus breach. It’s essential not to give people personal information, or banking details or money, or remote access to your computer — and never click on any links in texts or emails.
If you think something’s real, then don’t use the contact information in the communication. Do a Google search, contact the company, go to their website, and tell them about the call and that communication and say ‘Is this real or not?’ And you’ll nearly always find is going to be a scam.