NAB is encouraging customers to be alert to scammers and show caution with their finances and personal details during the End of Financial Year period.
NAB Head of Anti-Fraud and Forensic Services, Claire Shaw, said this time of year is a busy time for scammers, and so it’s important to be vigilant.
“These scammers are very sophisticated and they don’t discriminate who they target,” Ms Shaw said.
Ms Shaw said across the industry scams involving investments, share promotions, and tax schemes were becoming more prevalent.
“The type of investment scams we’re seeing involves scammers claiming to be a stockbroker or a portfolio manager, and offering people financial or investment advice,’’ Ms Shaw said.
“They will claim to be offering low risk, quick and high return products, or encourage you to invest in overseas companies, and their offers will often sound legitimate.”
Ms Shaw said scammers can be persistent, and often claim to be affiliated with a genuine company, and may even have resources to back up their claims.
One recent example involved a 70 year old man who, after completing an online survey was approached by a representative claiming to be from an established overseas firm. The representative persuaded him to invest thousands of dollars in a platform, with promises of making easy profits. Fortunately, NAB employees became suspicious and referred the matter to its Anti-Scam unit.
Ms Shaw said scams succeed because they looked like the real thing, and catch people off guard.
“We’re working to protect customers against these risks. Our fraud team has 24/7 monitoring, so they can spot and shut-down suspicious activity and contact our customers, but we urge customers to be alert.”
Among some of the other types of scams involve share promotions, tax and company branded scams.
A recent example of a share promotion scam NAB has become aware of involves the scammer encouraging people to buy shares in a company that they predict is about to increase in value.
“Customers may be contacted by email and told to act quickly, or the message will be posted in a forum as an ‘inside tip’. In fact, the scammer is trying to boost the price of stock so they can sell shares they have already bought, and make a huge profit. The share value will then go down dramatically, and your investment is virtually worthless,” Ms Shaw said.
Company branded scams involve scammers pretending to be from established companies saying that there is something wrong with your computer.
“Customers are told hackers are trying to access their computer, and it’s affecting their internet banking, and the scammers claim to be able to fix the issue on the spot, for a fee,” Ms Shaw said.
“Then, they try to insist that ‘software’ be downloaded to your computer giving them remote control access. This is like providing the front door keys to your house and saying come in and help yourself.’’
NAB is also encouraging customers to be alert to tax scams during this tax time period.
Top tips to protect against scams:
- Do not give your details to an unsolicited caller or reply to emails offering financial advice or investment opportunities – just hang up or delete the email.
- Change your passwords/PINs/SMS codes regularly and don’t share them with anyone.
- Don’t click on links in emails; hover the mouse over the link to see where the location of the link is directing to.
- Be suspicious of investment opportunities that promise a high return with little or no risk.
- Check if the financial advisor is registered via the ASIC website. Any business or person that offers or advises you about financial products must be an Australian Financial Services licence holder. ASIC has a list of companies consumers should not deal with at www.moneysmart.gov.au
For the latest information, customers can keep up to date with the latest alerts at our www.nab.com.au