Divas Chat used by scammers
Scammers are targeting young people in Aboriginal communities in Western Australia through the social networking service Divas Chat.
To use Divas Chat all you need is a Telstra mobile phone and 3G network coverage; making it popular with people living in remote communities where available telecommunication options can be limited. You do have to confirm you are 18 before you get access.
Like other social networking sites, such as Facebook, Divas Chat gives the opportunity for a large number of people to share information with one another.
But while it’s supposed to be fun and entertaining there are downsides to giving out personal information online.
WA ScamNet has recently heard from three Aboriginal women who have lost money through lottery type scams linked to them being on Divas Chat.
One woman had lost $3,000. Another reported knowing of someone who had lost $6-7,000.
Of course it is not just your money that can be stolen. So can your identity.
Another issue may be the sharing of information that embarrasses or puts you at risk of harm.
Safety tips you can follow:
Only use the site if you are old enough – age limits exist to protect users from seeing things they shouldn’t
Don’t let a friend open the account for you – make sure only you know the login details and password
Use a strong password that only you would know – not something obvious that another person could guess and make it different to your other social media account(s)
Look at the privacy setting options so you can control who sees what
Be careful about who you link in with/accept as a friend – if you have never seen them face-to-face they may not be who they say they are and might be a scammer
Think before you post – information can easily reach people who are not your ‘friends’ on the social network site and it may be hard to take it down if you change your mind after posting
Remember that putting information like your date of birth, address, daily routine, holiday plans or children’s schools makes you and your family vulnerable
Don’t forget smartphones can pinpoint your exact location, so having the geolocator on tells the whole world where you are
When posting photos make sure they are appropriate and that you have the permission of the people in the picture
If you send a photo of yourself doing something that’s against the law or without your clothes on you never know where it might end up and if you forward on pictures like this of someone else you could be breaking the law
Never click a link that looks suspicious even if a friend has supplied it – they may have been hacked (nothing bad will happen if you don’t click a link but it can if you do)
If someone you meet on social media asks you to send them money, either for you to get a prize or money, or to help them, it will usually be a scam
Talk to someone you trust about any request for money before you send the money and if you would like to you can call WA ScamNet on 1300 30 40 54. You can remain anonymous when you talk to us.
You can find lots more advice at www.cybersmart.gov.au
If you think someone has logged into your account and pretended to be you, report it to the social networking service provider. If they have done something that might be a crime, like making threats to hurt someone or posting sexual comments or pictures, you should also tell the police.
Look after others online and if you are worried about online behaviour that involves sexual exploitation or any other criminal activity call CrimeStoppers: 1800 333 000.
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