How to recognise a scam and what to do if it happens to you.
No-one is immune from being scammed. You can’t always avoid being targeted by scammers who want to separate you from your money, but you can protect yourself by learning about scams, how they work, and what to do if it happens to you.
Thieves try and get hold of your debit or credit card online and when you’re out and about using your card, at home or overseas. Watch out for:
- Your card being skimmed at an ATM – look for false ceilings or terminals that move when you insert your card
- Suspicious websites – check the site is credible before you buy online and look for the security lock in the URL bar
- Free trials that need a credit card to sign up – they might onsell your details
- Stolen cards and personal information – lock your mailbox for extra security.
Some scammers pretend to be from a charity, especially if there has been a recent or local natural disaster. Ask to see identification, and if in doubt, contact the charity using a number you identify yourself – not one they give you.
False contact details scams
Be careful who you call. Even if the email or message looks legitimate, always check the phone number, email address or website address for yourself. Some links will take you to a website which looks like the real one (if you don’t look too carefully), and the phone number could be a fake.
No legitimate business or government agency asks to be paid by gift card.
This is a growth area in scamming – scammers asking to be paid in gift cards (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Steam are popular). The cards can easily be sold on the black market, and they’re anonymous. A scammer may pretend there is a warrant for your arrest, and request payment using gift cards or bitcoin. Or they try to get your personal details using a gift card as 'prize'. Either way, it’s a scam.
If it happens to you, call the company that issued the gift card, tell them the gift card was used in a scam, and they will cancel the card.
Phishing scams involve scammers trying to trick you into handing over personal information such as your bank account details, passwords and credit card numbers. They will pretend to be from a legitimate business like a bank and the contact may come via phone, email, text or social media.
Don’t click on any links asking you to update or verify your details. Never provide personal, credit card or online account details to someone you don’t know.
It’s become more common to receive scam text or voice messages to your mobile phone. The message may pretend to be from your bank, Centrelink or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). They may threaten legal action if you don’t provide your financial details.
Most banks or government agencies will never send you a text message to login.
Remote access scams
Remote access scams usually involve someone contacting you by phone or email to advise your computer or internet is having technical problems – they may say you are being hacked or have a virus. They’ll usually say they’re calling from a large company like Telstra or Microsoft to provide technical support, and will ask for remote access to your computer to fix your problem.
Once they have access to the computer, they install malware (malicious software). They will ask you to log into your internet banking, and they have recorded your details using without you knowing. Once you’re off the phone, they’ll hack your account immediately.
If a person you don’t know asks for remote access to your computer, hang up.
Scammers may contact you via dating apps and pretend to be your friend or partner. Either very quickly or over a period of time, the scammer builds a trusted relationship. They may then ask you for money to visit you, or for an unexpected expense. You are not likely to hear from them again.
- We will not ask you for sensitive personal information over phone or email
- QBANK will never ask you for sensitive personal information via email or phone.
- We will not ask you to transfer money to an external account
- QBANK will never ask you to transfer funds externally.
Talk to us about avoiding scams and what to do if your card or account is targeted on 13 77 28 8.45am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday.