MELBOURNE, 1 November 2012 — Scammers are ratcheting up their targeted activities for this year’s Melbourne Cup in their attempts to catch novice and unwary Internet gamblers. The ‘race that stops a nation’ will be heavily backed by online gambling sites, and the proliferation of these services as apps on mobile devices creates new opportunities for cyber criminals.
AVG Technologies says this year’s winners will be the punters who protect themselves from malicious online hits before turning to the Form Guide.
Michael McKinnon, Security Advisor at AVG, said: “The risks for those having a bet online is that cybercriminals are following the money and developing sophisticated scams and malware to tap into this highly lucrative market.”
Typical scams include fraudulent betting sites and sports arbitrage sites which are being introduced at an alarming rate to fleece unwary Australians. And the Government’s SCAMWatch site warns of the latest scam - software to predict race outcomes.
“To understand why the risks are increasing, we need to recognise how quickly we’ve changed our national behaviour. Not that long ago, betting was primarily the realm of men who frequented the TAB. Only the Melbourne Cup brought out the once-a-year gamblers and for most, that meant a simple flutter in the office sweep,” McKinnon said.
“Now, with the easy convenience of apps on our phones and mobile devices, online gaming and gambling has never before been so accessible in our society.
“According to the Australian Government’s Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy , it is estimated that Australians are losing close to $1 billion a year to unlicensed online gaming services, with local players accessing 2200 illegal gaming sites in addition to those licensed in this marketplace,” McKinnon said.
AVG 2012 Melbourne Cup Trifecta
1. Prepare ahead of time.
Don’t leave it to the last minute to sign up to an online service or download an app for your Melbourne Cup bets this year. If you go searching in a hurry, particularly using the convenience of a smartphone or other mobile device, you may be more vulnerable to cybercrime tricks that lure you into malicious sites or scams.
During peak events, such as the Melbourne Cup, it is common for cyber criminals to engage in short-term advertising and linking campaigns that can expose victims to any number of active threats, including malware infections, identity theft and credit card fraud.
2. Don’t trust your e-mail
Recent tactics used by spammers include cloning e-mails from legitimate companies, so that the fakes are almost impossible to identify. It is important to always use an Anti-Spam solution to filter junk e-mail, and be aware of the website address in links before you click.
Legitimate gambling operators often advise that you should never click on links contained in e-mails, and many of them never send e-mails with a link to their site, advising that you always enter their web address directly into the web browser.
3. Use a reputable, Australian licensed service
AVG recommends that you use only gaming and betting services that are licensed and regulated in Australia. Before you sign up, take the time to review their site security pages.
McKinnon said: “Be wary of attractive sign-on incentives, what you agree to and what you may be asked to click through to. Think twice about sites offering ‘free money’, or claims that you’ll be more likely to win with them. Any site with these ‘above the odds’ offers should be assessed very critically.
“Reputable sites will have comprehensive advice about protecting your personal information, spotting fraudulent e-mails and monitoring your logins to ensure there’s only legitimate activity occurring in your account.”
4. Protect every device and all personal information
• Strong passwords that are changed at least every six months are your best bet.
• Trustworthy betting sites will provide a minimum of 128-bit SSL encryption for all transactions - look for URLs which begin with https:// — the ‘s’ signifies security.
• Consider opening a credit card account only for online transactions and keep it separate from your other accounts.
• Protect all computers with automatically updated and always on anti-virus and Internet security protection software.
• Mobile devices now have the full power of PCs – these too need to be operated using all available in-built protection measures as well as specifically designed security software for smartphones, laptops and tablets such as AVG AntiVirus for Android.
• Do all your online betting or gaming from a secure Internet connection. You should never use a public computer or a public, unsecured Wi-Fi network to do online transactions such as logging into online accounts, placing bets or making payments.
Report any suspicious or unscrupulous behaviour from unlicensed or overseas gambling sites to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) at [email protected]
Legitimate Australian gambling providers are registered with the following state government bodies:
Victoria : http://www.vcgr.vic.gov.au
New South Wales : http://www.olgr.nsw.gov.au
Australian Capital Territory : http://www.gamblingandracing.act.gov.au
South Australia: http://www.olgc.sa.gov.au
Queensland : http://www.olgr.qld.gov.au
Western Australia : http://www.orgl.wa.gov.au
Tasmania : http://www.treasury.tas.gov.au
Northern Territory : http://www.nt.gov.au/justice/licenreg
AVG Technologies AU
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