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This is number 14 in a series of great articles designed to put in school newsletters to keep parents informed around the latest cybersafety issues. They have been developed by the Cybersmart team at ACMA and are available via

Schools are encouraged to copy and paste these in your school newsletter or share them online. Find the series tagged under Cybersmart


Avoiding online spam, scams and phishing

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

The online world provides you and your child with incredible access to communications and information. However, there are also a number of things that you must be aware of to avoid being taken advantage of.

  • Scams are ways of obtaining information or money through false means.
  • Spam is an unsolicited commercial electronic message.
  • Phishing is the use of email or SMS to encourage individuals to reveal financial details like credit card numbers, account names and passwords or other personal information. Phishing messages can look like genuine messages from a real bank, telecommunications provider, online retailer or credit card company.

Discuss these actions with your child to avoid this illegal activity.

  • Avoid giving out your email address or mobile phone number publicly. Check the terms and conditions of anything you sign up for. You may be consenting to receive commercial messages.
  • Do not accept friend requests or respond to text messages from people you don’t know.
  • Remember that banking institutions will never contact customers by email seeking specific account details. Call your bank directly if you have any concerns about a contact claiming to be your bank.
  • Ensure that you only disclose financial information on websites that you trust and that have secure payment facilities. Look for a URL that begins with ‘https://’ and padlock symbols once you get to the payment page to check it is likely to be secure.

If you or someone you know has been affected by spam, scams or phishing, visit the Cybersmart Online Helpline ( or call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

DEECD resources can be found