Common banking scams and how to avoid them.

New banking technology has made it faster and easier for Australian consumers to access their money, but this progress isn't without risk. The increased prevalence of technology in everyday banking processes has introduced new opportunities for financial scams.

This is true regardless of whether you're making a transaction via a mobile wallet or using a mobile banking app, and the wide variety of schemes out there makes it vital to understand what warning signs to look out for. To help, we've put together a list of some of the most common financial scams, and how to avoid them.

Credit card scams.

One of the most common financial scams is the theft of credit card details. This can be achieved in different ways, ranging from hacking into a computer system that stores this data through to simply stealing a new card from somebody's letterbox and activating it online.

Once a scammer has somebody's credit card details, they're able to use it to make purchases via the Internet. In more serious cases, a scammer may even gain access to the card's PIN, making it possible to withdraw cash from ATMs.

It's important to regularly check your online banking statements to make sure each transaction was made by you. If you're at all concerned about the possibility of credit card fraud, contact your bank immediately and cancel your card.

Theft of personal information.

While credit card fraud is a hugely stressful crime to fall victim to, these schemes typically won't provide the scammer with access to your bank accounts. This means your other accounts won't be at risk, but there are other ways criminals may attempt to gain access. The most common of these is the theft of your personal information, usually through emails, texts or phone calls that purport to be from your bank.

This approach is known as 'phishing,' and it's easy to fall victim to if you're not aware of the dangers. Common signs of a phishing scam include calls from a bank that you're not a customer of, emails that include links where you must enter your personal information, and messages that do not refer to you by your full name or an identification number.

If you're ever in doubt about the validity of a message, it's always best to contact your bank directly and ask. If all is above board, they'll be able to quickly let you know, giving you peace of mind that your personal details are safe.

Confidence scams.

Finally, there are forms of financial fraud that attempt to trick people into transferring money directly into an account operated by a scammer. These come in all sorts of different forms, including fake charities, investment opportunities, get-rich-quick schemes and even online dating websites where an emotional connection will be formed before money is requested.

A general rule for avoiding these scams is to keep in mind that if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. You should also make sure never to transfer any money to an account owned by someone you can't verify or don't completely trust. If you're in any doubt, your best option is to contact your bank, who will be able to provide you with clear guidance on whether or not you are dealing with a financial scam.

Ultimately, keeping financial details and money safe in the age of technology comes down to being careful and not hesitating to talk to the experts when you need help. To find out more, contact Beyond Bank today.

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This information has been provided without taking into account any of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether it is suitable for your circumstances before acquiring this product. 

All loans are provided by Beyond Bank Australia Ltd ABN 15 087 651 143 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 237 856. © 2020.

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