NT Police are tracking down almost 100 Territorians whose personal information was found included in documents for sale on dark web marketplaces in recent months.
The Northern Territory Police Cybercrime Unit said NT residents have been the victims of identity fraud after being deceived into providing personal identification documents to criminals which were then used to commit further online crimes.
Police said Territorians have given away personal information through online sales frauds involving cars, heavy machinery and even puppies, where documents are requested to prove the identity of the purchaser.
Once cyber-criminals have that information, police said they can then assume the victim’s identity opening bank accounts, applying for credit cards or selling the information on dark web marketplaces.
The cybercrime unit is currently contacting the nearly 100 NT residents who have been identified in the documents for sale.
Over 13,500 reports of cybercrime have been made to the Australian Cyber Security Centre since July 2019, at a rate of approximately one every 10 minutes.
Cybercrimes experienced by Territorians can vary
A registered tax agent based in Alice Springs, known as “Rajiv”, came close to getting duped out of around $20,000 by a scammer he thought was one of his labour hire firm contacts, according to a recent case reported by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).
Rajiv recently received an email from People Co, the national labour hire firm through which he employed extra staff during the peak June to October tax return period.
While the email bore a strong resemblance to others Rajiv had received from People Co, it was fake.
“The sender had included an invoice for urgent payment, which featured the People Co logo and company branding, making it look very official and legitimate. The sender, whose name Rajiv didn’t recognise, informed him that People Co required further identification information from him, which had been lost due to an email malfunction,” ACSC’s report stated.
The email included a link to a web form, which, the sender wrote, Rajiv needed to complete urgently to pay the invoice and ensure his contractors were paid. He then looked carefully and noticed spelling mistakes, saving himself $20,000 he was about to pay the scammer, the ACSC said.
Keep passports, drivers’ licences and date of birth private while online: NT Police
The NT Police Cybercrime Unit is reminding Territorians to safeguard the privacy of their identifying information such as copies of passports, driver’s licences or even your name, address and date of birth, as it can be used by offenders to commit online crimes.
If anyone suspects they have supplied their identifying information to suspected Cybercrime offenders they should immediately get in touch with their financial institution and report the matter to police through www.cyber.gov.au.