Working in the MOVE Bank contact centre, I am aware that we have a member base with long memories. The Whitlam years, the introduction of GST, the fall of the Berlin Wall. I mention this because if we have spoken over the phone about any potential scams that concerned you, I have given you this piece of advice: trust but verify.
Trust but verify is an excellent way to approach anything to do with the protection of your money whether it be online, people calling to apply high pressure conversations for access to information or digital devices, or just good old-fashioned emails. The basic concept is approach with suspicion. Australia Post isn’t going to call you about a package, if you don’t shop with eBay they can’t charge you, Paypal won’t have your card details if you’ve never used them before.
It also doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on your transaction history as it helps catch out weird little websites charging you odd amounts each month. This is the most common type of fraud we see outside of people being encouraged to transfer the funds themselves to the fraudsters.
Scam phone calls are designed to create a panic to stop you from thinking critically about the situation. The more of a panic the caller can put you in, the more you will implicitly trust them, and the easier for them to trick you into handing control of your electronic devices or giving them sensitive info. In these situations, see if you can confirm through an official channel, calling them back, or checking the info you’ve been given.
If you have been affected by a scam, make sure you give us a call as soon as you can on 1300 362 216 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you notify the bank you’ve sent the funds through to that you’ve been scammed, they might be able to freeze the account the funds have been sent to.
A common scam that Australians have seen more of in recent months is the “Hi Mum/Dad” message scam. Scammers typically send a WhatsApp or a text message from an unknown number, impersonating a child, starting with "Hi Mum". Often the messages follow along the lines of "I've changed provider” or “I’ve lost or broken my phone” The scammer uses this to justify a funds transfer, claiming to be in urgent needs of funds. They don’t stop at asking for funds, also asking for personal information, which may then be used to scam other family members.
Always verify any contact that is out of the blue. The best way to go about this is by verifying if your child's number is working by calling them or finding another means to get in touch with them, like contacting someone they're with, or via email or social media. Trust your money is going to be safe, but it doesn’t hurt to verify to be sure.
Simon Perry, Personal Banking Consultant
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.