Warning phone scam alert
There are two phone scams currently occurring in Australia in which criminals are claiming to be from the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA). The criminals are trying to defraud customers by convincing them to send money or to provide identity information. Don’t fall for it!
SCAM 1- ‘overcharged bank fees’
Criminals are cold calling members of the public claiming to be from the ‘Australian Banking Association’ promising a refund of ‘overcharged bank fees’.
This is FALSE.
The ‘Australian Banking Association’ is not our association’s correct name. We are the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA).
If you receive a phone call such as this, do not provide the criminals any information – just hang up.
The criminals ask customers to proceed to a post office to receive the so-called ‘refund’ - ranging from $5 000 - $7 000. Instructions are given to customers to call the criminals on arrival at a post office where the fraudsters try to talk the customers into sending money, via the post or Western Union. They will claim it is a fee for the so-called ‘refund service’.
The criminals may also attempt to elicit the following information from customers:
- With whom do you bank?
- For how long?
- What is your credit card number?
- What is your driver’s licence number?
Most customers who have contacted the ABA have been very suspicious and have not provided any money or information to these fraudsters. However, some members of the ABA staff have spoken to a handful of customers who had sent to the criminals - around $300 via Western Union. Unfortunately, there is no hope of retrieving that money and it is lost to fraud.
These criminals are preying on people and we are urging anyone who receives a call with a promise of easy money to hang up. If you have provided any banking information to the criminals such as your confidential PIN or a credit card number – immediately contact your bank and they will take action to protect your account.
The criminals are using a name which is very close to ours in an attempt to give this scam legitimacy. Don’t fall for it and remember – if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
SCAM 2 – ‘customer satisfaction survey’
Criminals are also calling members of the public claiming to be conducting a customer satisfaction on behalf of the ‘Australian Banking Association’.
This is FALSE.
The operator claims they are completing the survey on behalf of the Australian Banking Association which is the incorrect name of our organisation - we are the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA).
The ABA does not carry out customer satisfaction surveys.
The bogus survey telephone operator asks a series of questions regarding the person’s banking provider, such as:
- Whom do you bank with?
- How long have you banked with them?
- Are you satisfied with the service?
Customers have been asked for personal identification details including bank account numbers, PINs and Internet banking passwords and logins. The criminals which are running this scam could then use the information to defraud bank customers.
We are warning consumers that the ABA is not completing any bank satisfaction survey and that consumers should ignore any telephone calls, e-mails or text messages that suggest otherwise.
We also remind bank customers that your bank will never ask you for PINs or confidential Internet banking details. This information is the key to your account and should always be kept confidential.
The ABA advises that if you receive an ‘Australian Banking Association’ survey call, just hang up. You should then contact your bank, who will take immediate action to monitor your account if any information was divulged to the caller.
Tips to protect your financial identity
- Don’t provide your PIN or Internet banking login or password to anyone;
- Guard the following identity information carefully and only provide to trusted people and entities: date of birth, current address, driver’s licence number and passport details.
- Delete spam and scam e-mail – if the offer sounds too good to be true – it probably is;
- Keep your anti-virus and firewall software up-to-date;
- Do not respond to requests that ask you to call unknown or un-verified phone numbers. Generally only trust numbers that appear on the back of your cards, or can be verified through a phone directory or other trusted source; and
- Be very careful about clicking on links in e-mails. Do not use links to access trusted websites. Enter the correct address for websites into the address bar of your browser.