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While we have provided some handy tips/tricks below to help prevent you from getting caught out, please also keep an eye out for some upcoming webinars that we will be facilitating with WAW in late November. Follow our socials or visit the Hume Bank website in November to make sure you don’t miss these great sessions.  

Scams can be described as schemes that take money or goods from unsuspecting people. Scammers trick you into giving out personal information and they often pretend to be from a legitimate businesses or government organisations. Contact can be made by email, social media, phone call, or text message.

There are many ways you can get scammed, and we have compiled a few examples below to help you be on the lookout for any suspicious interactions:

Text Message, phone calls, social media, and email.

The latest craze in scams that we have seen a significant amount of activity on are:

Remote Access – Scams

Remote access scammers pose as well-known and trusted companies such as your bank, telecommunications provider, NBN provider or a government agency to persuade you into providing them remote access to your device and bank accounts. 

Red Flags

  • Someone contacts you unexpectedly from a well-known business advising you of a situation such as, you have an outstanding tax debt or that your internet connection or banking security is compromised or a message may pop up on your device to warn you that a virus has been detected, with a number to call for technical support.
  • Scammers often use technical jargon or quote their ID numbers to sound professional whilst creating a sense of urgency to fluster and coerce you into complying with their requests, such as installing a software application to provide them with remote access to your devices.
  • If the scammer successfully accesses your devices, they will often instruct you to log into your internet banking, it is then that your screen may turn black, or you may only be able to see the cursor moving around. This indicates that there may be unauthorised transactions and your internet banking has been compromised.
  • You may receive a ‘one-time password’ SMS from your bank. If you have downloaded remote access software onto your phone, the scammer will have access to this code or instruct you to read out the code. Again, this is another indication that the scammers are completing transactions with your internet banking
  • Scammers will often instruct you not to turn off your computer or hang up the phone. This ensures that if your bank is suspicious of any activity on your internet banking and tries to contact you, they cannot get through. 

Case Study

Grace received a call from a person claiming to be from “Visa MasterCard”. 

They said they had noticed suspicious activity on her account and would help to protect her funds from “hackers”. However, to help Grace, they needed to act quickly, and she needed to do everything they said. 

They instructed Grace to download a remote access application (app) onto her device, then stepped her through logging in and activating the app to “help” her.

This situation then gave the scammers full access to Grace’s devices, including her internet banking.

The scammers explained to Grace that to protect her funds, they needed to set up another account in her name and transfer all her funds into that account where the hackers couldn’t access them. To do this, they needed a photo of her driver’s licence and a selfie-style photo of Grace holding her license next to her face.

What was happening was the scammers were now using her photos and the information Grace had provided them to impersonate Grace and set up a cryptocurrency account in her name to move her funds.

Next, the scammers instructed Grace to log in to her internet banking.  

Now that they had access to Grace’s devices and internet banking, the scammers downloaded an app that locked the device, preventing Grace from controlling it.

Once Grace was locked out of her device, the scammers transferred all her funds into the cryptocurrency account. Grace was powerless to stop them.  

After the scammers had transferred these funds to the cryptocurrency account in Grace’s name, they withdrew the funds from her account and into their own.

As cryptocurrency is currently unregulated in Australia and has a high level of anonymity, Grace’s funds were unable to be traced or recovered.

Not only did Grace lose her money, but she also had her identity stolen just from answering a cold call.

How to protect yourself

  • Never give anyone remote access to your computer if they’ve contacted you out of the blue – whether that be via a phone call, email or pop-up window on your device or computer or even if they claim to be from a well-known company, your bank or credit card provider.
  • Verify the contact’s identity through an independent source, such as a phone book or an online search, then get in touch with the legitimate company directly to ask if they contacted you. Do not use the contact details provided by the caller or in the text message sent to you.
  • Never send money; give your banking or card details or any other personal information to people you don’t know or trust by email or over the phone.
  • Don’t open suspicious texts, pop-up windows, click on links or attachments in emails – delete them.
  • If you’ve sent money or shared your personal information, banking, or credit card details, contact us and any other financial institutions you use immediately.

If you ever suspect you’ve been targeted, get in touch with us immediately on 1300 004 863, so we can help ensure you and your account remain safe.