An elaborate new scam cleaning out bank accounts is tracing your movements and exploiting your life.
Hackers are a law unto themselves, and to prove it, in just 50 minutes they managed to wipe clean radiologist Dr Sean O'Connor's entire life savings.
Dr O'Connor lost not just a few hundred dollars, but a few hundred thousand dollars.More stories from Today Tonight
He was the victim of a sophisticated phishing scam. First they targetted his home computer, bypassing his anti-virus software and sending him on a detour to a fake banking website where they could access all his personal details.
Next was his mobile phone. They duplicated his number so they could receive the SMS codes to confirm banking transactions.
Phil Buttigieg was another victim, having thousands stripped from his bank accounts by cyber criminals.
"I have recently retired, so you know, these people who do this as a profession - ripping off other people - they're looking at retirees who might have some money stacked away or something like that," Buttigieg said.
The cyber criminals even tried to set up a fake account under his name.
Detective Superintendent Brian Hay heads Queensland's Fraud Squad and says these hackers are "like Al Capone behind a keyboard."
According to Hay "they will look at the landscape, study the technology that protects you, your identity, your family, your bank, your finances and they will look to defeat it."
Senior police say Australia is ripe for the picking when it comes to cyber crime. The latest figures show 89 per cent of us use the internet, which is almost four times the global average.
"It has grown and exploded so quickly that security, safety and behaviour are complete abject afterthoughts," Hay said.
So while the banks' computers may be safe, yours may not.
According to Allison Stanfield, CEO of forensic computer specialists e.Law "we're always going to be subject to crime. It's a question of, you know, looking at minimising those risks."
She thinks that "the banks, as soon as they do have a loophole breached, do work hard to get around that as quickly as they can."
Software architect Troy Hunt says it's been estimated Australians lose $4.6 billion annually.He recommends these simple measures to help counter cyber criminals:
- Have a strong, unique password, and constantly change it.
- Make sure you use anti-virus software that updates automatically.
- When it comes to mobile banking on your smartphone use an iPhone not an Android.
- Sign up to a credit alert service like Veda.
- Troy Hunt - www.troyhunt.com