14 December 2023
With the festive season underway, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) is urging Australians to be vigilant against scams this Christmas.
“Scammers will try their very best to exploit the increased shopping activity and generosity in the lead up to Christmas, preying on unsuspecting individuals,” said ABA CEO Anna Bligh.
“While many Australians get ready to enjoy some time off this holiday period, scammers will be working hard to trick people into parting with their hard-earned money.”
“Banks want to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and being extra vigilant to scams at this time of year is essential.”
The ABA is warning customers to be alert to several common scams that may emerge during Christmas including:
- Impersonation scams where scammers pretend to be from a trusted organisation, like your bank or insurance company, or a family member, luring individuals into clicking malicious links or disclosing personal information.
- Online shopping scams where scammers offer attractive, ‘too good to be true’ online shopping deals or hotel and flight discounts, only to steal payment details upon purchase.
- Charity scams where scammers solicit donations for fake charities or impersonate genuine charities to exploit people’s generosity.
- Gift card scams where scammers trick individuals into purchasing gift cards for non-existent products or services.
“Scammers are experts at manipulating emotions, which is why they prey on people’s trust and generosity over the holidays and customers must stay alert to the warning signs,” Ms Bligh said.
“Australians deserve to enjoy their holiday season without falling victim to these sophisticated international crime gangs.”
To stay safe from scammers this Christmas, the ABA reminds customers:
- provide banking information, passwords or two-factor identification codes over the phone or via text to anyone even if you know them – contact the bank through official channels only.
- login to your online banking via links sent through email or text.
- click on suspicious emails, links or texts.
- transfer money unless you’re certain it’s going to the right person.
- provide personal information to anyone you don’t know personally unless you know it’s for a legitimate purpose.
Banks are working to protect your hard-earned money from scammers. The ABA recently announced a Scam-Safe Accord to disrupt, detect and respond to scams. At its centre is a new Confirmation of Payee system which will be rolled out across the entire banking sector so people will know they are transferring money to the person they intend to pay.
It also includes a major expansion in intelligence sharing via the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange and limiting payments to high-risk channels including crypto currency.
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