In something of an ironic twist, the security industry has been warned to be on the lookout for scammers targeting licenced security operators.
Queensland’s Office for Fair Trading (OFT) issued a warning that it had been made aware of a scam targeting stakeholders in the security industry claiming to be about licence expiration.
Licensees have reported being sent an SMS text message claiming that their licence has recently expired, or is about to expire. It urges them to send either a renewal receipt of photo of a recent licence to a dedicated mobile number.
However, the OFT, which regulates a range of industry licences in Queensland, warned it does not communicate via text messages about personal information. Instead, legitimate correspondence includes Queensland government branding and an identifiable contact number.
The OFT also warned that expired security licences are not eligible for renewal, making identification of the scam much simpler.
“The OFT is not aware of the exact intention of this suspected scam, however urges consumers to be cautious of SMS messages received from unknown numbers, to never provide personal details unless they are absolutely sure they are dealing with a legitimate organisation,” a spokesperson said.
According to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), identity crime costs the country at least $1.6 billion annually, the majority of which originates through scams, identity theft as well as card fraud.
Identity crime is also a key enabler of organised crime, the AFP said, which costs the country an estimated $15 billion each year.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.