Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to scam us and steal our money. They use a range of ways to trick people into handing over personal information.
Once they have your bank account number, log in details, or password, they can access your identity and your money.
Personal information includes your date of birth, address, driver licence, passport details and bank statements. Anyone who asks for these will likely be trying to scam you. Fraudsters may pretend to be your bank, a government agency, a retailer, or someone you trust.
Banks take care to protect bank accounts from misuse and fraud. For example, bank systems can detect unusual spending patterns and prevent attempts by fraudsters to access accounts.
We all have an important role to play in protecting ourselves and our money from financial crime.
Tip: If you are the genuine victim of banking fraud, talk to your bank immediately. Your bank may be able to reimburse you depending on the particular circumstances and your terms and conditions.
Tips to help avoid these scams
- Don’t share your bank account login details, cards, PINS or passwords with anyone – not in person, online, over the phone, or in emails or texts. Your bank will never ask you for this information.
- Don’t give out personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call and you are sure that the number you called is genuine.
- Don’t reply to, click on any links, or open any files in spam emails or text messages. Don’t call any numbers in spam emails or text messages.
- Spam emails are often disguised to look legitimate. If it doesn’t seem right, take care and double check first before handing over personal information. It’s always a good idea to check the email address against one you know to be legitimate and type in the full web address.
Depending on what has happened, your bank may be able to reimburse you for any money taken from your account.
You must still protect access to your bank accounts. If you give anyone else account access, you may be liable for the loss.
Card and online safety tips
Here are a few simple ways to help keep yourself safe.
- Safeguard your card. Treat it like cash. Don’t leave it lying around. Make sure you know where your card is at all times. Do not give your card to anyone else to use.
- Protect your PIN. Never tell anyone your PINs or passwords – not even the police, bank staff, friends or family.
- Cover up. When entering your PIN number at ATMs and EFTPOS terminals, shield the PIN pad with your other hand. Criminals may ‘skim’ your card details by attaching a device to the card reader, and then ‘shoulder surf’ or use hidden cameras to record your PIN.
- Contact your bank immediately if you lose your card or you think the security of your card has become compromised in any way.
- Check your statements and/or review your transactions regularly. Advise your bank immediately of any unauthorised transactions.
When shopping and banking online
- Log on to internet banking by typing in your bank’s full web address. Do not use links in emails or text messages that appear to take you to your bank’s website.
- Check you have a secure connection, which is shown by a closed padlock symbol in the address bar, and that the website address starts with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.
- Avoid public computers and public Wi-Fi for internet banking, e.g. internet cafes, libraries or hotels.
- Never allow anyone to install remote access software to your home computer.
- Protect your identity information and only provide it to trusted people and organisations. This includes your date of birth, address, driver licence number and passport details.
- Shop with trusted retailers online. Check the security of the website. Before you provide personal information make sure they will protect that information.
- Keep your anti-virus and firewall software up to date.
- If you suspect you’ve been taken in by a scam and your bank account may have been compromised, contact your bank immediately.
If you use your mobile phone or device for banking
- Only download apps from trusted sources.
- Keep your device’s operating systems up to date, and update apps when prompted.
- Use your phone’s password lock feature.
- Shield your passwords from people around you.
- Change your passwords periodically, and make sure they are not easy to guess. Do not share your banking app password or PIN with anyone.
- If available, use anti-virus software.