In 2021 Australian’s lost over $323 million to scams with phishing, remote access and investment scams in the top 10 based on frequency and money lost.*
As scammers continue to target Australians in new and evolving ways, it is important to stay educated about how to spot and avoid scams. Let’s take a look at exactly what these scams involve and what to do if you’re caught out.
Phishing scams are the most common with over 70,000 reported cases across Australia last year.* Generally this form of scam involves someone impersonating an organisation you know and trust with the goal of stealing your personal information.
Some easy ways to spot phishing scams include emails from strange email addresses and spelling mistakes or inconsistencies in communications. If someone is asking for your personal information such as bank account or credit card details, this is a red flag.
Remember: MOVE Bank will never ask for your internet banking password. If you’ve provided your password to someone else, please let us know immediately on 1300 362 216.
Remote Access Scams
Costing Australian’s over $16 million last year, remote access scammers pose as well-known organisations to trick people into installing software to capture confidential information.*
This type of scam often begins with a call from someone claiming to be from technical support or a telecommunications company, notifying you that there is a problem with your device. From there they prompt you to install software to ‘fix’ the problem, which they then use to gain access to your device and steal information such as banking passwords.
In order to protect yourself from remote access scams you should:
- Never open links or attachments from untrustworthy websites or emails
- If you receive an unsolicited phone call asking for remote access, hang up immediately, even if a well-known company is mentioned
- Keep your computer up-to-date with anti-virus software
Investment scams target individuals by offering seemingly risk-free investments with large and guaranteed returns. These scams can be more difficult to spot than others, but are often far more damaging if scammers are successful – costing Australians $177 million last year alone.*
Investment scams come in many forms but will often begin with an unsolicited call, email or message about an investment opportunity. Common examples include cryptocurrency investments, Ponzi schemes or international investments.
Before investing any money it’s important to conduct due diligence. Never commit to an investment on the spot and be sure to do your own research before moving forward. A great rule of thumb is that if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
Did you know? You can check the ASIC website to see if a person or business is registered to provide financial advice, and view a list of illegitimate companies you should not deal with.