When a North Shore Mum received a very official-looking bank letter in the mail, just the slightly dodgy logo gave it away as a scam. Thanks to her eagle eye and quick thinking, she managed to avoid any trouble, and now she’s helping other NSMs know what to watch out for.
“I came across this letter apparently sent to me by Westpac, but as soon as I saw their logo, I knew it was fake. They wanted a whole bunch of personal info including passport & other ID copies, to be filled out on a few pages, which look legit. I just wanted to share this with you and make you aware that it is definitely a scam, confirmed by Westpac today. They’ve asked me to take it into a branch for their investigation. If you ever receive anything like this for any bank, always verify it with your bank & protect your identity & hard earned money.”
- Fraudsters don’t only strike online. There’s been an increase in phone scams where the caller claims to be from a reputable organisation offering to assist with a computer issue. They then attempt to take control of, or access your computer. Do not allow this under any circumstances; just hang up.
- Be particularly vigilant if you’re asked to disclose any Online Banking sign-in details or codes sent to your mobile. Again, just don’t do it.
Other scams to watch out for:
Holiday Rental Scams
A fraudster simply finds a rental property online and uses the available details to set up their own copied website and listing. It will look legit- there may be fake reviews, and the deal is usually a tempting last-minute bargain. You book the listing and pay online (often by credit card) and pack your bags. When you show up for your vacation, there’s no record of your booking or payment. There may even be another family inside.
Free Flight Scams
You receive an exciting email or even a phone call informing you that you’ve won free tickets to flight! Usually, the scammer says there have been several attempts to contact you about the tickets and that you won them in a sweepstakes which you were automatically enrolled when you purchased something. There are certain requirements before you can claim your prize, but meeting those obligations will cost you way more than any flight ticket.
Never click links in charity emails, even if it’s one you support and already donate to. Instead, manually type the URL in to a new window or search it in Google to make sure the address is correct- there are usually differences between legit sites and scam sites. Never give a donation over the phone if you receive an unsolicited solicitation. Hang up and call the charity yourself.
If you’ve been targeted by scammers, it’s important to contact the relevant authorities and report it.
You can contact ASIC by phone on 1300 300 630 to verify the authenticity of any communications.