"Phishing" is a form of Internet fraud that aims to steal valuable information such as card numbers, user IDs and passwords. A fake web site is created to look similar to that of a legitimate organisation, typically a financial institution such as a bank or insurance company. An email or SMS is sent requesting that the recipient access the fake web site and enter their personal details, including security access codes. The page looks genuine but users entering information are inadvertently sending their information to the fraudster.
Find out more about current hoax emails, how to recognise them and what to do with them.
Identity theft is on the increase in Australia. It can take many forms, from fraudulent credit card use, to your entire identity being used to open accounts, obtain loans, and conduct other illegal activities.
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.
Here are 7 simple strategies to help protect your financial identity:
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 are harmful programs that are loaded onto your computer without your knowledge. The goal of these programs may be to obtain 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.
Find out more about how to secure your PC against Viruses and Trojans.
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.
Find out more about how to secure your PC
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.
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.
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:
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:
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 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.
Fraudsters don't only strike online. Phishing, where emails seek to represent a known or trusted entity and trick people into disclosing their account or personal details, is now increasingly happening over the phone.
Hoax callers contact unsuspecting people and claim to be employees of legitimate organisation such as a bank, computer software or internet provider. The caller then requests customer account, personal details and/or remote access to their computer. Be particularly vigilant to these types of scams if you have lost your wallet or been the victim of a break-in.
If you have reason to doubt the validity of a caller, ask their name and phone number to call them back, and check the number against the organisation’s number in the phone directory. If the caller claims to be from StGeorge, check the number against StGeorge telephone directory.
Also, be on the lookout for voice recorded messages that can dial automatically and ask you to call a number or provide account information.
Your mobile can be a target for fraudsters too. If you receive any SMS message that you have not requested or are expecting, and you're suspicious, please contact us on 13 33 30 to confirm the authenticity of the message.
If you think you've received a scam via SMS, delete the message. If the messages become a nuisance, contact your mobile network provider for further assistance.
You might be offered free or cheap ring tones, or the chance to win fantastic prizes via text messages, or even automated voicemail messages. You should avoid responding to or downloading supposedly free software due to the risk of a virus or trojan software being installed.
Check out the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) SCAMwatch site for more info on these types of scams.
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.