23 January 2015- NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe today issued a warning about bogus callers claiming to be from some of Australia’s biggest banks falsely advising consumers that they had fallen victim to an overseas credit card or bank fraud.
“NSW Fair Trading is receiving reports of consumers being contacted by people purporting to represent banks based in Australia,” Mr Stowe said.
“The bogus callers falsely claim that fraudulent transactions have taken place on their credit card, commonly in New Zealand, and then ask consumers for their personal or banking details to help recover funds.
“Once they’ve gathered banking or personal details from victims, scammers can potentially hack into their bank accounts and siphon funds.
“Depending on the volume or type of information given, scammers have the potential to commit other types of false representation using the victim’s identity.
“Unfortunately banking scams are quite common, though this new variant is particularly worrying as banks and financial institutions do often get in touch with consumers to advise them of irregular or suspicious transactions.
“If you do receive a call that doesn’t seem genuine, refrain from giving any details, hang up and contact your bank or financial provider.”
Mr Stowe encouraged consumers to alert their friends, family and colleagues of the latest banking scam.
“Sadly, Australian consumers lose millions of dollars to scams each year and unfortunately the more people that fall for scams the more prevalent they become, as scammers see it as a quick way to make money,” he said.
“Using auto-dialling tools and software, scammers often target and cold-call consumers area-by-area, and there is a fair chance if you are receiving calls so is your neighbour or those who live nearby.”
Many scams originate from outside Australia and once money is sent overseas it is virtually impossible to recover. If you do fall victim to a scam, contact your financial institution for advice. On average NSW Fair Trading receives nearly 1,300 reports on scams each year and consumers should report any activity they suspect is a scam to NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 and Scamwatch at www.scamwatch.gov.au.