When it comes to fraud people often downplay the risks, thinking “I’d never fall for something like that”.
But the fact is there are people losing money every day to various frauds and scams. According to national fraud prevention agency Scamwatch, Australians have lost a mind-boggling $54 million dollars to various scams and fraud attacks between January and August 2016 1 alone!
From time to time we receive reports from members who have been contacted by scammers, who are usually trying to try and convince them to hand over their personal information.
We’ve recently become aware of two instances where members have been contacted by scammers, so we’re sharing these details with you so you’ll be able to recognise the signs of a scammer.
Scam 1: Phishing
Phishing is a specific type of scam designed to trick you into providing personal information which the scammer can then use to conduct fraudulent activities, such as stealing money from your bank accounts, using your credit cards or running up new debts in your name.
How does it work?
- The scammer will contact you and pretend to be from a legitimate business – usually by phone or email, but also increasingly via social media
- You will be asked to provide personal details – for example, the scammer could ask you to verify yourself by answering questions about your identity OR you may be directed to click on a link in an email to update your internet banking details
- They look and sound genuine – emails will have official looking email signatures, fake websites will have similar URLs to the real website
MEMBER REPORT: Phishing Scam Attempt
A member contacted us recently after receiving a call from a woman using the name Annie Davies. Annie said she was calling from MOVE Headquarters, formerly Railways Credit Union. She was able to give our location and knew that the MOVE branch had moved from the concourse and was now located between RC1 and RC2.
Annie said she was calling the member to let the member know that she has been overcharged on her account for the past 25 years. She then asked the member to disclose her date of birth.
Fortunately, this member realised that no-one from MOVE would ask for this information and refused to give any details. Annie became angry when the member wouldn’t provide these details and the member ended the call.
Scam 2: Remote Access Scam
A remote access scam is designed to convince you to provide the scammer with permission and access to operating your computer remotely. They may then try to defraud you by selling you a fake product or by fraudulently collecting your credit card details and other personal information.
How does it work?
- You receive a call from someone claiming to be from a telecommunications, internet or software company
- This person will tell you that there is a problem with your computer or internet – for example, they may say your computer is sending error messages or that they have been notified that your internet service has been hacked.
- The scammer will then ask you for remote access to your computer so that they can “fix” the problem or perform tests to see what the problem might be
MEMBER REPORT: Remote Access Scam attempt
We received a call from a member who advised he had been contacted by a man claiming he was from Telstra and that he needed remote access to the member’s computer so that the could “protect” the member’s internet banking.
Once the scammer gained access to the computer he had the member login to myMOVE Banking. Using a forged image he was able to convince the member that he had put an extra $1,000 into his bank account to “test” the account security.
The scammer then directed the member to withdraw this amount from his account and send it back to the scammer via Western Union. The member went to an ATM to do this but (thankfully) they had forgotten their PIN and after three incorrect attempts, the member was automatically locked out of their account.
When it became clear that the member would not be able to withdraw the money the scammer disconnected the call.
Our commitment to your security
Protecting your financial and personal details is our number one priority and we are committed to upholding the security of this information. When you become a MOVE Bank member you provide us with personal information about yourself. We have stringent procedures for verifying your identity and will not disclose any information about you or your accounts until these requirements have been met.
MOVE Bank will never ask you to provide any of the following kinds of information when we identify you
- Your internet banking details
- Your date of birth
- Details about your marital or family status i.e. are you married, do you have children
- Your address
We will also never ask for remote access to your computer.
How can you protect yourself?
Scamwatch advises you to take the following steps to avoid being caught by scammers…
- Being careful when giving out your personal details – you should protect your personal information at all costs
- Keeping your mobile devices and computers protected with passwords
- Not opening suspicious looking emails, text messages or pop-up windows
- Creating strong passwords and keeping them secure
- Using caution when responding to any requests for money or your personal details
Be aware that scammers will often become demanding or angry if you don’t immediately comply with their requests for access or information. This is another tell-tale sign that the person you are dealing with is not a genuine company representative.
Reporting a scam
If you suspect you’ve been in contact with a scammer it is vital to report it to us so that we can share this information with our staff and with the member so they know to be extra careful.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to represent MOVE Bank who asks you for any of the personal information listed above, or who asks you to do anything that seems “off” or makes you feel uncomfortable, you should contact us immediately on 1300 362 216.
More information about current scams and how to protect your personal information in Australia is available at Scamwatch.
1 Source: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/about-scamwatch/scam-statistics
This blog post is for general information purposes only and is not intended as financial or professional advice. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product or other professional advice. You should seek your own independent financial, legal and taxation advice before making any decision about any action in relation to the material in this article. Railways Credit Union Limited trading as MOVE Bank ABN 91 087 651 090. AFSL/ Australian Credit License number 234 536 | ABN 91 087 651