Ask the Experts: How to spot a scam with Steven Thompson


As technology and data use continues to grow, new scams are presenting as threats to everyday Australians. Steven from Bendigo Bank is back to share the tips and tricks on how to spot these scams.

Scammers can hack your devices or accounts, impersonate a business you’re paying, or even set up fake sites or businesses.

How does a scam happen?

Scammers strike in a number of ways, including phishing scams, email compromise scams, and remote access scams.

Phishing scams relate to customers clicking on links in SMS messages/emails (directing them to fake sites) or via telephone.

They usually will then divulge their personal and financial information which scammers will use to carry out financial crime.

Business email compromise and invoice hacking scams involve the hacking of company servers or personal email accounts to intercept and manipulate emails or invoices.

These are then used to send seemingly legitimate emails to people to obtain payments or execute financial transactions.

Remote access scammers contact you by phone, and often impersonate bank or government institutions in order to access your personal data and take control of your computer by requesting you to download remote access software.

Tips for spotting scams

1. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is

Scammers target victims with advertisements for popular products at huge discounts and sell products through websites with no intention of fulfilling your order.

Research retailers in detail, and if something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts.

2. Look out for unusual tone or behaviour

When receiving text, phone or email communications, check phone numbers and email addresses to ensure they’re legitimate – and don’t ever click links.

New advanced scams mean hackers can even send fraudulent emails from legitimate email addresses.

For this reason, identifying a scam can come down to much smaller details.

If the tone or style of the email feels different, or if the person is asking you to transfer money or execute a financial transaction, this could be a sign of a scam.

3. Be cautious of changes to payment details

Some impersonation scams will request a redirection of payment to a fraudulent account.

If you receive a request asking for a payment to be made to a different account always verify it with them over the phone or face to face.

4. Question any request for personal information

Some scammers will use phone calls to try and get you to hand over personal information.

If a caller starts asking you personal questions or asking to run a security check, hang up and contact the bank or business directly.

Ensure that you use a number or email address you’ve used before.

For the latest scam alerts and information to keep yourself and your family safe online, visit Bendigo Bank’s Scam Alerts

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