Experts believe that one in every 99 emails sent is a phishing email. 

This concerning fact, and the increasing prevalence of phishing attacks, set the opening scene for the second episode.

All those emails and texts urging you to click a link or ring a number – they’re all phishing attempts and usually have two main objectives, according to Nick Klein from CyberX. 

“Usually a phishing email is aiming to either get a user to open something that puts malware onto their computer to compromise it – we’re all familiar with dodgy email attachments,” he says.

“The second way that phishing emails work is to try to get someone to click a link which will take you to a website, which again will either try to download something malicious to your computer and take control of it, or try to harvest your credentials.”

In the second episode of Anatomy of a Scam, host Deborah Knight speaks to Rob Heathcote, who opens up about his personal experience of falling victim to a sophisticated business email compromise scam.

“I’ve been so vigilant… and they got me,” he says.

Scammers were able to steal $100,000 from Mr Heathcote, intervening in a car transaction deal, in a “very sophisticated email trail.” This scam not only convinced Mr Heathcote, but also tricked the car dealership as well.

“This is not something new, this is going on every day. Everybody knows someone who’s either been scammed, or attempted to be scammed.”

And Mr Heathcote isn’t alone. More than 3,300 cases of business email compromises were reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre in the past year alone, with this figure growing annually.

Dr Marthie Grobler, a cybersecurity researcher with CSIRO, explains that in most cases, phishing succeeds through human error.

“When humans are involved, it’s very tricky,” she says.

The best way to stay safe?

“Education is absolutely key and education should happen in a number of ways… we talk about cyber hygiene these days, and that’s things like using strong passwords and making sure you have multi-factor authentication on all of your important online accounts.”

Listen to Anatomy of a Scam on your preferred podcast app, and to find out more about how we’re protecting your accounts, visit:

Anatomy of a Scam — episode 2