By Kaitlin Fennelly.
Most of us think that we won’t fall victim to an online scam, but as scams evolve it becomes harder and harder to tell what is real and what isn’t. Some scams are so well disguised as text messages or emails that they can be truly difficult to spot. Unfortunately thousands of people fall victim to scams each year; in 2016, Australians lost over $299.8 million to scams.
So, how can you avoid falling victim and report potential scams?
40% of all scams are from online sources including the internet, email, social media and mobile apps. Online scams consist of anything from hacking into your personal computer to accessing your personal banking accounts.
Some helpful tips to avoid online scams:
- It’s important to always keep your passwords safe. BOQ will never ask for your personal information or bank account information via email or text message.
- Always use secure payment methods and only purchase from trusted and reliable businesses. Do your research and read customer reviews prior to purchasing from a new company.
- If you notice a suspicious email from your bank, take a screenshot and delete it. Then inform your bank immediately.
- If you have any concerns about something you see or receive online, feel free to contact us.
Mobile phone scams
As we become more dependent on our smart phones, we are now turning to our devices to store large amounts of personal and financial information. So, it is of no surprise that scammers are beginning to target mobile phones more frequently.
Some helpful tips to avoid mobile banking scams:
- Unfortunately, you won’t be the lucky winner of a trip to the Maldives via a unsolicited text message. Some common SMS scams include the promise of unexpected prizes. These scams often require you to send money or personal details to claim them and can cost you a lot of money if you do reply.
- Before you give out your personal information to anyone on the phone, make sure you know they are legitimate. Check where they are calling from, their position and make sure you can contact them back. If you aren’t convinced then hang up.
- Do not share your personal, credit card or banking details over the phone unless you have made the call or you are aware the call has come from a legitimate source.
- If you feel something is just not quite right, report it to either ScamWatch or ACORN.
If you ever feel like something is not right, do not give out your personal information. You can contact BOQ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak to our friendly staff, who are happy to help you with any questions or concerns. If you do see anything that you may believe could be a scam, please contact us and let us know.