Understanding the types of fraud and scams that can occur can help you to identify and avoid them. Below is some information about the most common types of fraud and scams, and tips on how you can protect yourself from these.
Banking Security Tips
At Arab Bank Australia, we are committed to providing our customers with a safe and secure banking environment.
Listed below are some helpful hints and tips on general security which will help to provide you with peace of mind when you conduct your banking. These tips can help you reduce the possibility of fraud and help keep your accounts more secure:
- Notify the Bank immediately should you lose or misplace your cheque book, passbook or cards or if they have been stolen on 1800 64 64 84.
- Notify the Bank as soon as possible if you move or change your contact numbers on 1800 64 64 84.
- Check your account balance frequently, and report any unauthorised transactions to the Bank immediately on 1800 64 64 84.
- Sign new cards immediately upon receipt. Destroy old cards once the new card is activated.
- Memorise your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and never keep it with your card.
- Report lost/stolen cards and/or PINs immediately on 1800 139 241 or +61 2 9959 7530 for callers outside of Australia
- Do not disclose your Login, Password or PINs or other banking details to any person.
- Bank staff will never call and ask for your PIN or password – if you receive a call asking for these BE SUSPICIOUS and do not disclose them.
- Do not disclose your personal or account information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
- Be very suspicious of emails and websites if they promise you money, good health or a solution to all your problems. Remember, anything that looks too good to be true usually is.
- Be suspicious of emails, calls or texts warning about serious consequences for inaction unless you engage in specific activity (e.g visiting a link, providing personal details).
- Never send money or give card or online account details to anyone do not know and trust.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them.
- Don't email personal or financial information.
- Don't click on links in the message or paste a link from the message into your Web browser. Manually type out the link publically and commonly known (arabbank.com.au).
- If you are contacted by someone purporting to be from your bank, telecommunications company or a government agency, before giving access to any of your personal details, contact the relevant body to check it was them who contacted you.
What to Look Out For
Arab Bank Australia supports the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce in the promotion of ScamWatch; a website which is dedicated to the prevention of scams.
Scams can take many shapes and forms and are constantly changing. The general rule of thumb to remember is that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Be cautious and be aware.
Listed below are some of the more common scams to be aware of.
Identity theft is a type of fraud which involves someone stealing your money or gaining other benefits by pretending to be you. Having your identity stolen can be both financially and emotionally devastating.
Identity theft can occur in many ways - from somebody using your debit card details illegally to make purchases to having your entire identity assumed by another person to open bank accounts, take out loans and conducting illegal business under your name.
Take the following precautions:
- Always keep your letterbox locked to avoid having mail stolen.
- When disposing of correspondence, especially from the Bank, which contains personal or financial information, ensure that the documents are fully destroyed or shredded.
- Always cut old cards into multiple pieces before disposal.
- If you share accommodation – never leave your personal or banking items unattended.
- If you are expecting a letter or new card from the Bank and it fails to arrive – contact the Bank on 1800 64 64 84.
- If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, notify the Bank as soon as possible on 1800 64 64 84
'Phishing' Scams - Requests for your account information
Phishing emails are fake emails usually pretending to be from banks or other financial institutions. A reason is given for you to share your account details and then these are used to steal your money. Look out for the following:
- You receive an email or SMS claiming to be from a financial institution or telecommunication provider. This message may seem to be from your bank, service provider or a business you don’t have an account with. It may contain a link that leads you to a website where you are prompted to disclose personal or financial details.
- The message does not address you by your proper name.
- The message might contain typing errors and grammatical mistakes.
- The sender’s address or link’s destination address mismatches whom they purport to be.
- The message might claim that your details are needed for a security and maintenance upgrade, to ‘verify’ your account or to protect you from a fraud threat. The email might even state that you are due to receive a refund for a bill or other fee that it claims you have been charged.
Phoney Fraud Alerts
Scammers pretend to be from your bank or financial institution and tell you that there is a problem with your account. They ask for your account details to protect your money, but then use these details to steal your money. Look out for the following:
- You receive an email or a phone call from somebody saying they are from your bank, asking you about recent activity on your card or account.
- You are asked to confirm your card and bank account details by return email, visiting a website or over the phone.
- The caller or the email claims that there has been fraudulent activity found on your bank account, or that your card has been cancelled.
- You may be advised to contact a fake fraud investigations body, and discouraged from contacting your bank or credit union.
There are many types of scams that aim to steal your debit or credit card details, such as using spyware on the computer you are using to obtain your card details, or by taking the card itself or by tricking you into giving them the card’s details. Protect yourself by:
- Try to avoid using public computers (at libraries or internet cafes) to do your internet banking.
- Do not use software on your computer that auto-completes online forms. This can give internet scammers easy access to your personal and card details.
- Do not give out your personal, card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
- Never send your personal, card or online account details through an email or SMS.
Card skimming is the illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit or ATM card. This can create a fake or ‘cloned’ card with your details on it. Look out for the following:
- A shop assistant takes your card out of your sight in order to process your transaction.
- You are asked to swipe your card through more than one machine.
- You see a shop assistant swipe the card through a different machine to the one you used.
- You notice something suspicious about the card slot on an ATM (e.g. an attached device).
- You notice unusual or unauthorised transactions on your account or card statement.
Fraudsters send out letters and emails inviting individuals to participate in a scheme that usually involve a government official who needs help in distributing millions of dollars out of the country in return for a cut of the money. Recipients of the letters are required to provide their bank account details and forward thousands of dollars in "advance fees".
Email Employment Scam
Victims of this scam are asked to provide their bank account details to prospective employers with the view to facilitate transfer of funds to overseas parties. The victims are told that, in return, they will be compensated by a commission payment. However the funds transferred have been obtained fraudulently – which means the victim ends up participating in a fraud. Never provide your bank account details to any prospective employer until you are satisfied with the bona fides of that employer and/or you have signed contracts of employment.
Victims of this scam receive a letter advising them they have won a large prize from an overseas lottery. In order to collect their prize, they are required to send a sum of money before a certain date to an overseas bank account to cover the cost of traces, bank fees, delivery and insurance costs.
Email Compromise Malicious actors send messages that appear to originate from a known or trusted source making a legitimate request, such as a vendor, business or service provider you or your company regularly deals with sending a notification of an updated mailing address, payment method or account details. Unchallenged, future payments or correspondence henceforth go to the malicious actors whilst the party being impersonated may be unaware and fail to receive such payments or correspondence.
Protect Yourself: Call or contact your correspondent using a different method (phone call using a known contact number; in person) to validate the authenticity of any changes to procedures – especially last-minute changes to account details for payments.
Fraudulent Mobile Applications
Unauthorised or fraudulent mobile apps can be used to access your internet banking ID number, and password and account details. Always use trusted apps and download mobile apps from reliable sources only. The Arab Bank Australia mobile app is available via the App Store and Google Play and you should always ensure that ‘Arab Bank Australia’ is listed as the app publisher or seller. To download the Arab Bank Australia app safely and securely, you must ensure that you download it from the App Store or Google Play only. If you have suspicions about the authenticity of a mobile banking app, visit our mobile banking page on your phone's browser and follow the links listed on this page to access the authorised Arab Bank Australia mobile app.
Remote access scams
Some scammers might call you pretending to be from a technology or telco company. They will claim they have detected a security issue with your computer or phone. To help you “fix the problem” they will ask you to perform some tasks that would essentially give them control of your device.
In other variation of this scam fraudsters will claim they are having problems processing payment on your account. They would ask to provide them your card or online banking details.
- Do not give an unknown caller remote access to your computer.
- Never provide your bank account login, password, PIN or card details to anyone.
- Always keep your computer up-to-date with the latest system updates and anti-virus software.
If you suspect that any of your accounts have been accessed online by someone other than yourself, please notify us immediately on 1800 64 64 84.