This is a common scam where thieves will try and obtain your debit or credit card information online and when you are out using your card, at home or overseas.
Things to watch out for:
Scammers may pretend to be from a charity, especially if there has been a recent or local natural disaster.
Ask to see identification, and if in doubt, contact the charity directly using a number that you find yourself (from their website, registered charity details) DO NOT use the number that they give you.
With the fear and anxiety increasing in people across Australia through the continuing affects of COVID-19, Scammers are taking advantage of the current situation, people’s movements, moods and personal needs. Visit ACCC Scamwatch for up to date information.
There are a number of scams currently circulating, some examples to be mindful of include:
Be mindful of who you are calling. Scammers provide false contact information through emails and websites. Even if these look legitimate, always check further by putting in the known website address for yourself to confirm (Don’t just click the link).
Remember: Some links will take you to a website which looks like the real one (if you do not look too carefully), and the phone number could be a fake.
No legitimate business or government agency asks to be paid by gift card. This is a growth area in scamming – scammers asking to be paid in gift cards (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Steam are popular). The cards can easily be sold on the black market, and they’re anonymous.
A scammer may pretend there is a warrant for your arrest, and request payment using gift cards or bitcoin. Or they try to get your personal details using a gift card as prize. Either way, it’s a scam. If it happens to you, call the company that issued the gift card, tell them the gift card was used in a scam, and they will cancel the card.
These involve scammers trying to trick you into handing over personal information such as your bank account details, passwords and credit card numbers.
They will pretend to be from a legitimate business like a bank and the contact may come via phone, email, text, or social media.
Do not click on any links asking you to update or verify your details. Never provide personal, credit card or online account details to someone you do not know.
It is becoming more common to receive scam text or voice messages to your mobile phone. Usual phone scam messages pretend to be from your bank, Centrelink or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). They may threaten legal action if you do not provide your financial details. Most banks or government agencies will never send you a text message to login.
Remote access scams usually involve someone contacting you by phone or email to advise your computer or internet is having technical problems – they may say you are being hacked or have a virus.
These scammers usually say they are calling from a large company like Telstra or Microsoft to provide technical support and will ask for remote access to your computer to fix your problem.
Once they have access to the computer, they install malware (malicious software). This is a tracking software which enables the scammer to monitor what you are doing on your computer. Most of the time they will ask you to log into your internet banking, where they will record your details without you knowing. Once you are off the phone, they’ll hack your account almost immediately.
Remember: If a person you do not know asks for remote access to your computer, hang up.
This is an increasing scam where scammers take advantage of people who are seeking a romantic partner. They often will contact you via dating websites and apps or social media and pretend to be your friend or partner, playing on your emotional triggers.
Shockingly, these scammers will go to great lengths to build a trusted relationship with you over a period of time. They may then ask you for money to visit you, for a sick relative or for an unexpected expense. Once you transfer them money you are not likely to hear from them again, along with the financial loss you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal.
As many Australians face financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government announced eligible individuals would be allowed early access to their superannuation.
With the introduction of this, scammers are taking advantage through a variety of phishing scams designed to steal your superannuation. Regularly check your myGov account to ensure there are no unexpected applications for financial relief on your behalf and make sure you report any notifications about an early-access application that you have not made to your superannuation fund immediately.
1. Ensure you have SMS One Time Password (OTP) enabled.
2. SMS alerts - get notifications of suspicious activity, low balances & more.
3. Keep your devices and anti-virus software up-to-date.
4. Use strong, unique passwords for all your online shopping accounts and change them regularly.
5. Never share your account details with anyone.
We take all reasonable steps and measures across our products and service platforms to help keep your personal information and finances safe from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, or any other interference.
For further protection that you can implement:
SMS One Time Password - this code provides a second line of defence when performing a transfer of funds to a new payee
SMS Alerts are available - from credits and debits to an account, successful internet banking logins, these can be setup through Internet Banking.
Lock your card
If you think your card details have been compromised,
lock your card on the spot using the QBANK app.
Report your card
If the security of your card details or PIN has been
compromised, you should immediately report this.
If you lose your card outside Australia, please call Visa’s Global
Customer Assistance Services who can help you 24 hours a day,
7 days a week. You can place a collect call from anywhere
in the world to +1 303 967 1090
No-one is immune from being scammed. You can’t always avoid being targeted by scammers who want to separate you from your money, but you can protect yourself by