Scams are an unfortunate reality in the modern era. The number of scams targeting Australians increases every year, so we have put together some information to help you look after yourself and identify scams as they come in.
Our commitment to protecting our members
MOVE Bank is 100% customer-owned and we are committed to putting the needs of our members first in everything we do. The steps we take to protect our own members is no different, and MOVE Bank is committed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that we protect our members from fraud and scams.
We do this by:
Training our staff on how to identify scams and fraudulent activity
Monitoring accounts for unusual transactions to identify potential fraud
Working with other banks and government organisations to develop anti-scam intelligence and technology
Educating our members about scams in a variety of ways, such as in our MOVE Life newsletter
How to protect yourself at MOVE
Whilst MOVE does everything in its power to prevent scams from occurring, there are steps you can take to help minimise the risk.
Be aware that scams exist. Just by keeping in mind that scams exist, you can protect yourself.
Register for and make use of PayID. PayID mitigates the risk of mistyping a BSB or account number, and helps you to ensure you’re sending money where it is meant to go.
Set up Two-Factor Authentication. Two-Factor Authentication (or 2FA) adds another step of protection in the event someone manages to access your account username and password.
Use a password manager. Using a password manager allows you to generate secure, complex and unique passwords for all of your internet use, greatly enhancing your password strength.
Never share your bank login information or one-time codes with anyone. MOVE Bank staff will never request a one-time code that is sent to you via text message or the login information for your account.
Beware of situations that seem too good to be true and don’t be afraid to ask questions. MOVE Bank, or any business that is impersonated by scams will never be offended if you ask them a few extra questions to verify their legitimacy (e.g. what is my account balance?, What kind of accounts do I hold with you?, When was my last bill? etc.). These questions would be easy to answer for the real business, but near impossible for the scammer. Don’t be afraid to take steps to control a conversation and make sure you’re dealing with legitimate parties.
Trust your gut. Human intuition is a valuable tool to avoid scams – if something seems off or wrong then it is probably a good idea to take some extra time to do extra due diligence and make sure you are not becoming the victim of a scam.
What to watch out for
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Scams tend to have a couple of common trends
Contact starts from unusual or unsolicited means, such as a phone call or email. Calls might come from a “spoofed” number to make it look like the real location, or emails might be from an email address that has been setup by the scammer to look genuine on first glance (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). In this example, the email is not coming from a genuine '@movebank.com.au' domain.
Similarly, scammers may also try to make the links to their scam website look genuine and correct by using letters from different alphabets. For example, they may use the letter ‘a’ from the Cyrillic alphabet instead of the English alphabet, which is slightly different in appearance. It can be difficult to pick up these differences on first glance, so make sure to review any links more than once before clicking on them. TIP: You can hover your cursor over any hyperlink to help you identify and verify the website address you are being directed to before you click on it.
Scammers will usually try and elicit an emotional response such as the chance to win big, or fear of paying a large fine.
Scammers may insist that payment be made to an account that is unfamiliar, or payment needs to be through an unusual method such as gift cards or joining a unique investment platform. You might also be asked to log into an unfamiliar link or portal that you wouldn’t normally access.
Scammers will often try to convince you that action needs to be taken urgently. This tactic is designed to rush potential victims into skimming over the details that may otherwise raise a red flag (e.g. fake email addresses or website links).
We have included some information below on a few common types of scams, however www.scamwatch.com.au is a great resource to find out about the latest scams that you should be on alert for, how to report a scam and what steps you can take if you have fallen victim to a scam.
Dating and Romance scams are conducted by creating profiles on legitimate websites such as dating apps or Facebook and then entering into relationships with people to request money over time from as short as days to many years.
Scammers will commonly say they are in a far away location and have some excuse why they are unable to meet such as because of military service, or taking care of a relative. They ask for money for all kinds of reasons, such as to book flights to see their victim, medical care, or to introduce the victim to a great financial opportunity.
Investment scams come in many different forms – property, shares, cryptocurrency are just a few of them. They distribute the scams through many different methods, whether approaching people as a friend of a friend, an advertisement with fake celebrity endorsements or even a direct call out of the blue with a great investment opportunity.
Individuals are then tricked into transferring money into a trading platform and shown fake information about how much money they are making, only to be asked to give money to withdraw their funds.
Be wary of investment opportunities coming from companies based overseas, that don’t hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and aren’t members of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). Australian investments are highly regulated for the safety of everyday people, and not ticking these boxes should be a big red flag.
Phishing is a type of scam designed to trick you into providing your information. This can take many forms, such as an email that may pretend to be from your gas company saying you have an overdue bill and that you must click the link to pay it urgently, to a text message saying you have tolls to be paid.
The trick with these messages is that they will usually want you to provide information or click a link that isn’t quite right – by hovering your cursor over a link, your computer will show you the address it is trying to send you to, which you will find will have subtle differences to a real link, like www.move-bank.com instead of www.movebank.com.au.
To protect their customers, most businesses no longer send emails with a link to enter your details, instead they will direct you to log in directly via their website.
With the rise of selling things on Gumtree and Facebook marketplace, so too have scammers moved into this space.
Common scams in this space is either for sellers demanding payment and then not providing goods, or buyers who might ask the seller to register for a service such as PayPal or PayID and then send a fake notification that they need to pay an extra amount to “activate” the payment method.
Scammers are also known to try and tug the heart strings of their victims, by posing as a fake charity raising money for a good cause or contacting you saying that they can provide answers to a medical problem such as having a miracle cure for an illness, weight loss trick or access to an online pharmacy.
Last but not least, scammers will often send a notice saying that there is an overdue fee, bill or tax debt that will incur substantial interest, penalties or other consequences like jail time.
In extreme cases, these can even be threats to your person or your family, such as pretending to be a family member who has been abducted by a drug dealer.
These scams work by making the victim scared and causing them to take action without thinking, whether that is clicking a link to look at a bill or send money to another account.
Most importantly, the first step is to take action. It is entirely normal to be upset of feel ashamed if you are the victim of a scam, but it is important to remember that no one is immune to fraudsters and scammers.
If you have sent money or shared your banking details with a scammer, contact your financial institution immediately. We can increase the monitoring on your MOVE Bank account and can attempt to stop or recall transactions made on your account.
The next steps are damage control – looking at what information was compromised and taking steps to protect yourself.
A few examples of actions that could be taken include:
Reviewing your passwords and changing any that were compromised
Updating your anti-virus software and scanning your computer, or even having a professional perform a clean of your device
Placing a temporary hold on your credit report
Contacting IDCARE via their website or call 1800 595 160 if you think you may be a victim of identify theft
Victims of a scam are also significantly more likely to become scam targets in the future, such as offers to recover lost funds. Be wary of potential scams especially in the near future.
If you have sent money or given away account details as part of a scam, you should contact your financial institution as soon as you become aware of the problem. We can increase the monitoring on your MOVE Bank account and can attempt to stop or recall transactions made on your account.
Unfortunately, the sad reality when it comes to scams is that if a payment has been authorised to be sent to a third party, scammers will usually move money out of the account immediately to prevent funds from being recovered.