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ABA warns customers to beware of online and phone scams
Jun 20, 2013

Sydney, June 17th 2013 - The Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) is warning customers to beware of criminals who scam the public - online and over the phone.

To help customers protect and secure their computer and mobile devices, the ABA has produced some consumer information which provides important prevention tips.

The ABA highlighted this consumer information during the Federal Government's awareness campaign "National Consumer Fraud Week" which runs until 23 June and is co-ordinated by the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT).

Consumer information on fraud prevention:

- Fact sheet: "Stay safe when banking on the go with your mobile and tablet": www.bankers.asn.au/bankingonthego
- Publication: "Smarter Banking Know Your Banking Rights and Responsibilities" which provides information on protecting yourself and your personal information: http://www.bankers.asn.au/know-your-banking-rights/
- Website: Protect Your Financial Identity: www.protectfinancialid.org.au

Steven Münchenberg, Chief Executive of the ABA, said: "Fraudsters use a range of ways to trick unsuspecting customers with the intention of stealing money."

"These criminals don't only strike online - they can also approach customers on the phone with the aim of luring the customer into providing personal or confidential information which can be used to access accounts."

"Just like locking your home to protect it from intruders, it is equally important to know how to secure your computer, smartphone and tablet from thieves and fraudsters.

"Also, by understanding how criminals use hoax e-mails or make offers or appeals through social networks, you can stay one step ahead of their methods. Smart and safe Internet use can also minimise customers' exposure to becoming victims of fraud."

Mr Münchenberg said it's really important to question an e-mail or a message that doesn't seem quite right or makes an offer or a promise that seems too good to be true.

"Criminals will try and lure in customers by offering a prize or pretend to be a traveller overseas who needs help. Don't reply and don't send any money."

"We have also seen hoax e-mails which claim to be sent from your bank. These hoax e-mails ask for confidential security information, such as your Internet banking logon details or PIN. Your bank will never e-mail you to ask for this information, so you should be immediately suspicious."

"Consumers should also be aware of websites that ask for these details. These websites will often re-direct you to a replica of your bank's website. These websites are set up by fraudsters to steal the customer's information."

Mr Münchenberg said banks work hard to protect their customers from fraud perpetrated by criminals. Systems such as special detection software can flag if fraud is occurring. Banks can act immediately to limit losses and inform customers even before they may be aware there's a problem.

Bank customers are protected from loss in genuine fraud cases. Account holders are not liable for losses resulting from unauthorised transactions where it is clear that the user has not contributed to the loss. There is usually an investigation by the bank to determine how the fraud has occurred.

Banks and police work together to identify, disrupt and investigate this type of criminal activity.

Tips to protect your financial identity:

- Don't provide your PIN or Internet banking login or password to anyone;
- 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;
- Always logon to Internet banking by typing in your bank's full web address, i.e. the URL;
- Don't use public computers for Internet banking, e.g. Internet cafes, libraries or hotels; and
- Guard your identity information carefully and only provide to trusted people and entities: date of birth, current address, driver's licence number and passport details.

 

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

Categories: Risk and Regulation
Keywords: ABA



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