Scams Awareness Week 2023
What is Scams Awareness Week?
An annual education and awareness initiative delivered nationally led by the National Anti-Scam Centre (NASC), a part of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Scams cost Australians over $3.1 billion1
Impersonation scams are on the rise with almost 80%2 of reported scams having some component of impersonation involved.
How it works
Scams are constantly evolving and the more we know about them, the warning signs and scammers' tactics, the better we'll be able to help protect each other.
Scammers are using more sophisticated techniques impersonating your loved ones or organisations that you trust. With our busy lives and the constant emails or messaging how do you know who’s really there?
Can you detect which of these are genuine?
Is this the genuine St.George logon page?
Scammers create fake websites that are designed to make you feel like you are on a genuine website.
In this example the only difference is the URL (link) of the page and St.George in the top left corner. Everything else is designed to look and feel the same. If you enter your credentials to this site, they will be captured by a scammer, who may sell or share your details or attempt to commit fraud in your name.
It’s important when logging on to always type our website (stgeorge.com.au) into your browser (not using a link from an internet search) directly, or via our App.
Were these messages sent by Mum/Dad?
Though it may look legitimate these are not genuine messages. Scammers will send out a message with a sender name that is familiar hoping to build trust, so you will action the request. Your mobile device may group this message into your conversation history, if the sender name and a stored contact match one another.
You may receive a request saying the sender lost their phone, forgot their wallet and eventually will ask to borrow money. It's always important to validate the person requesting money is legitimate. Call their old number, regardless of any claims the sender makes to confirm the request or check in with other family members to see if they have been advised of a change in number or received the same message.
Did St.George send this?
Scammers often impersonate well known financial service companies to gain your trust and confidence when looking for your next investment opportunity. Scammers commonly use legitimate company information to create professional looking websites or documentation, even registering similar domain names. Often scam websites provide 'advisors' who are readily available to guide you through financial choices. These 'advisors' impersonate staff members of the supposed financial company, often providing credible sounding emails or information on current offers. Always go to the genuine website or to the App when opening accounts.
Would this be an email from someone you know?
Not quite. Although the email may appear to have been sent from someone you know, or you might be expecting the request, it's important to check for the red flags. The red flags include urgency to complete the payment and only able to communicate via email no phone contact possible.
Other red flags to look for are new emails or SMSs advising a change of payment details, or email address is different from the regular corresponding email. Always contact the requestor via a publicly sourced phone number and confirm the payment details are correct before transferring any money.
*We removed the names and hid the emails in this example.
Is this a genuine St.George SMS?
Warning signs of an impersonator
You’re asked to share your passwords, security code with anyone, this includes your family and friends.
When an offer claims that you can't lose, has very little risk, or simply seems too good to be true.
You receive unsolicited contact via phone, email, SMS or a popup message, with pressure or intimidation to complete an action on the spot.
Unusual payment methods such as gift cards, crypto currency, using a transfer agent or cash withdrawals.
You receive payment instructions from a trusted supplier or conveyancer with different payment details.
You’re told not to tell anyone or are coached on what to say if asked.
If you’ve experienced any of the above, please get in contact with us immediately.
How to protect yourself
Here are some tips to help protect you from scams.
- Consider if the request is genuine. Always research who you’re dealing with and/or get a trusted second opinion.
- Keep Security software up to date on all devices. Don’t open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails. Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com then delete the email or message.
- Keep your personal/business details secure and don’t share passwords and security codes with anyone.
- Never give anyone remote access to your computer or device.
- Don’t send money or provide your personal details to anyone you have only interacted with online or via the phone.
- Always verbally validate the payment requests received via email. Use an independently sourced phone number you trust to check the account details. Don’t use the phone numbers in the email or invoice.
Knowledge is power
By arming yourself with scam prevention knowledge, you can protect yourself and your account by identifying tricks that scammers use.
If you've lost money or given your personal details to a scammer, there are steps you can take straight away to limit the damage and protect yourself from further loss.
- Report it to us immediately
- If you’ve shared your information to a scammer, visit IDCare
- Register for the Australian Government's Scamwatch email alerts
- Warn your family and friends about these scams
- If the scam occurred on social media, report it to the social media platform.
Here’s what to do if you have had a near miss.
1. As reported in the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Targeting Scams: report of the ACCC on scam activity 2022.
2. As reported in the Scam Awareness Week 2023 website.