Skip to main content
New Financial Assistance Hub

Stay safe from scammers this Christmas 

Stay safe from scammers this Christmas 

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: 

To never:  

  • 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.  

Latest news

1 / 3
Don’t fall for a fake cupid this Valentine’s Day  
13 February 2024

Love is in the air, but so are scammers looking to exploit the season of hearts and flowers.   As Valentine’s Day approaches, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) urges everyone to be extra cautious and scam-proof their heart from romance scams and other fraudulent schemes.  “Scammers play the part and prey on people’s emotions,” ABA CEO… Read more »

Read more
Banks hardship teams on standby to help cyclone-impacted communities in Queensland 
31 January 2024

Banks have dedicated hardship teams on standby to help those impacted by Tropical Cyclone Kirrily and the Australian Banking Association has urged those in need of financial assistance to reach out.  “With the second major cyclone in as many months followed by torrential rain, people in Queensland have been dealt yet another serious blow. I… Read more »

Read more
Media Releases
Banks stand ready to support cyclone-impacted communities in Far North Queensland 
18 December 2023

Today the Australian Banking Association has told Queenslanders impacted by major flooding as a result of cyclone Jasper that banks have teams on standby to help those in need.  “The ABA urges anyone in need of financial assistance to reach out to their bank, and to do so as early as possible. Dedicated hardship teams… Read more »

Read more