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Types of fraud

Protect yourself by learning about fraud and scams

 Phishing – scams that request your account information

Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is the fraudulent process of attempting to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords or credit card details by pretending to be a trustworthy organisation or person in an electronic communication like email.

Find out more about hoax emails.

 Identity theft

Identity theft works in a range of ways, from crude methods to well organised scams. Be suspicious if anyone asks you for your personal information. Scammers use convincing stories to explain why you need to give them money or personal details.

Always take your time to check whether a request is genuine. You can verify St.George requests by calling us on 13 33 30 anytime.

 Viruses and Trojans

Viruses and Trojans are harmful programs that are loaded onto your computer without your knowledge. The goal of these programs may be to obtain or damage information, hinder the performance of your computer, or flood you with advertising.

Viruses spread by infecting computers and then replicating. Trojans appear as genuine applications and then embed themselves into a computer to monitor activity and collect information.

Using a firewall and maintaining current virus protection software can help minimise your chances of getting viruses and inadvertently downloading Trojans.

 Spyware and Adware

When clicking on pop-up advertisements – ones that “pop up” in a separate browser window – it’s possible you are also downloading “spyware” or “adware”. These programs often come bundled with free programs, applications or services you may download from the Internet.

Spyware or Adware software covertly gathers your user information and monitors your Internet activity, usually for advertising purposes.

Be cautious about clicking on Internet banners and pop-ups or downloading free programs. Maintain current security software to detect and remove spyware.

 Card skimming

Card skimming is the illegal copying and capture of magnetic stripe and PIN data on credit and debit cards. Skimming can occur at any bank ATM or via a compromised EFTPOS machine.

Captured card and PIN details are encoded onto a counterfeit card and used to make fraudulent account withdrawals and transactions.

ATM Skimming

Fraudsters can attach false casings and PIN pad overlay devices onto genuine existing ATMs, or they can attach a camouflaged skimming device onto a card reader entry used in tandem with a concealed camera to capture and record PIN entry details.

EFTPOS skimming

A foreign device is implanted into an EFTPOS machine that is capable of copying and capturing card and PIN details processed through the machine.

A compromised EFTPOS terminal can only be detected by a physical inspection. However, you may witness suspicious merchant behaviour that needs to be immediately reported to us:

Examples of suspicious merchant activity

  • Your card is taken out of your sight to process a transaction
  • You card is swiped more than once
  • Your card is subsequently swiped through a second EFTPOS terminal

How to spot an ATM Skimming Device

Before you insert your card into any ATM, take a moment to check for evidence that the ATM has been compromised with a skimming device. The three areas to inspect are:

  1. ATM casing
  2. Card reader entry where you insert your card
  3. PIN pad buttons you use to enter your PIN

What to look for

  • ATM casing
    • Foreign objects attached
    • Evidence of damage or tampering
    • Panels that don’t fit snugly together
    • Holes in the casing panel may indicate that a camera has been inserted
  • Card reader entry
    • Any object placed over the card reader. A skimming device is often “piggy backed” onto the existing card reader.
    • Card entry slot not straight
    • Glue or tape residue around the card reader entry
  • Keypad
    • Keypad is loose and not fitting flush with the rest of the ATM
    • Keypad is a different colour to the rest of the ATM

If you see any of these signs on an ATM immediately report it.

ATM brand Where to report
St.George 13 33 30
Other bank ATM Local police station


Find out how we protect you from card fraud

 Job and employment scams

Job and employment scams target people looking for a new job or a change of job. They often promise a lot of income (sometimes they even guarantee it) for not a lot of work.
If you have received a work from home offer that you think could be a scam, or if you have responded to a job advertisement that you now realise is a scam, you can report a scam through the SCAMwatch website.

More about scams and how to report them

It’s a good idea to check your transaction history and account statements regularly to ensure there are no unauthorised transactions on your accounts. Contact St.George immediately on 13 33 30 if you suspect any such transactions have taken place.  

The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce runs an annual scam education and awareness campaign from 1 to 7 March.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) owns and maintains the useful SCAMwatch website, which will help you recognise and report scams: