Scammers consistently change their tactics, and it is important for you to be aware of the most recent scams, providing insight on the various tactics that are being adopted. SCAMwatch Radar can provide you with a list of recent scams and it is regularly updated by Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).
While you should refer to resources such as the SCAMwatch website to keep on top of the latest frauds and threats, you can refer to the information below for additional information on the types of threats.
Internet banking consumers have been targeted by a range of email scams involving various hoax emails. The hoax emails have been sent to large numbers of email addresses in anticipation of at least some reaching users of online banking facilities. Because of the large number of emails involved and the random nature of the hoax, these frauds are often called phishing. The hoax emails seek to trick online banking consumers into disclosing confidential financial information such as their Internet banking login and password details, thereby providing the fraudsters with illegal access to accounts.
The emails can look very professional and give the appearance of coming from a legitimate financial institution. Techniques that have been used so far include:
- asking consumers to update their login and password details for 'security' purposes - the users are directed to an authentic looking (but false) website - in some cases, the website address is also very close to that of the targeted financial institution and when users try to login to their accounts, these login and password details are captured
- luring users into opening emails or attachments that secretly install 'trojan' virus programs - trojans are computer programs that secretly install themselves on a user's computer without the user even knowing about it - in the case of online banking fraud, Trojans are used to log and capture key strokes (such as Internet banking passwords etc.)
- falsely alerting consumers to suspect transactions on their account - if the recipient follows the link embedded in the email, a virus covertly installs a trojan program that logs key strokes, and
- directing a user to a false websites (such as one email purporting to come from the 'federal police') where a trojan program is installed to log key strokes.
Having used these or similar techniques to capture login and password details, fraudsters are then able to illegally access accounts and withdraw funds.
Please note: SERVICE ONE will never:
- ask for your Internet banking login details or credit card details via phone or email
- use email to send you a link to an Internet banking login page, or
- ask you to communicate your passwords to us in any form.
If you receive a phone call or email from a financial institution and you're unsure of the legitimacy of it, you can always contact us (if the caller or email claims it's from SERVICE ONE) or the other financial institution to confirm.
You should also be alerted to a number of fraudulent job scams advertised on the Internet. These entice users to act as 'money transfer agents' for a third party. Consumers are duped into using their own accounts to transfer money for third parties as part of an ostensibly legitimate business transaction for a commission based on a percentage of the transfer. In fact, they become part of a money laundering operation for transferring stolen money. Again, these false job websites appear very professional and can be very convincing.
- exercise extreme caution with any online job offer where you are asked for your personal and banking details.
Identity theft occurs where a criminal obtains the personal details of an individual to act as that individual and, typically, transfer funds, obtain cash, secure loans and other financial benefits. The individual is then left to deal with the debts incurred along with the associated legal implications.
Identity theft can occur when a fraudster gets access to your personal information such as your date of birth, your address, your drivers licence number and information from utilities, phone and bank account records.
This can be obtained through:
- email scams such as those mentioned above
- similar telephone scams, and
- theft of your records and/or mail.
- keep responsible care of all personal information to minimise the risk of loss/theft (e.g. by keeping tax records and other financial documents in a safe place)
- minimise the risk of mail theft by securing your mailbox (e.g. with a padlock)
- cancel unused bank/utility/phone accounts
- securely dispose of any documents that may contain personal details (such as account statements, credit card transaction slips, bills, etc.)
- regularly obtain a copy of your personal credit file to make sure there is no unusual activity on your file, and
- promptly report to the police any loss or theft of personal documents.
What to do if you feel as though you've been exposed to a scam
If you feel as though you have compromised your security (for instance you have provided your personal and/or account information and this could be used against you), you should contact us and report this to the relevant authorities immediately.
- If you receive a phone call you feel is a scam, hang up immediately. Alternatively, you can ask for a phone number to contact the caller back from and see if this matches the organisation's details available in public directories.
- If you receive an email you feel is a scam, permanently delete it immediately and DO NOT access any attachments or links contained in the email.
- You can report scams to SCAMwatch by contacting 1300 795 995 (ACCC Infocentre).