A warning has been issued to Qantas, ANZ, and NAB Bank customers about a new phishing scam that is difficult to detect.
An Australian man received a text message from a scammer pretending to be ANZ Bank, stating that a large payment to Qantas had been stopped, and providing a number to call if the message came as a surprise.
The scammer used a number, 1800 95 32 85, which is commonly used by scammers pretending to be NAB Bank, while ANZ Bank’s official number is 13 33 44.
Scamwatch has sent an urgent warning to Australians not to be tricked into opening scam text messages sent by sophisticated hackers.
Phishing scams aim to trick people into giving personal information like bank account numbers, passwords, and credit card numbers.
Scammers pretend to be from legitimate businesses like banks, telephone or internet providers, and trick people into handing over personal details.
They will sometimes send alerts about ‘unauthorised’ or ‘suspicious’ activity on an account and ask if the receiver has authorised the payment.
If people reply that they did not authorise the payment, the scammer will take the opportunity to confirm credit card details so the bank can ‘investigate’.
Phishing messages will often look genuine, with scammers even copying the branding and logo of the organisation they are trying to impersonate.
Scamwatch advises not to open links or attachments from emails claiming to be from people’s bank or telephone or internet service.
To protect oneself, Scamwatch recommends doing an internet search using the names or exact wording of the email or message to check for any references to a scam.
People can also look for a secure symbol, with secure websites using a closed padlock or an unbroken key item in the bottom right-hand corner of a browser.
Scamwatch advises people contacted by scammers to ask for their name and contact number before independently checking with the organisation.
As of January 2023, Australians have lost a combined $2,902,256 to phishing scams, with nearly 10,000 people reporting they had been scammed.
The majority of the scams were done over the phone, followed by text messaging, mobile applications, and the internet.
The majority of the people scammed were over the age of 65, with women accounting for 75.4% of scams and men the remaining 23.2%.
In order to protect oneself from telephone scammers, Scamwatch advises not answering calls from unknown numbers, letting the call go to voicemail, cross-checking the number the call came from against the official website of the organisation that the caller claims to be from, not sharing any personal information about oneself or bank details, not clicking on any links, never letting a stranger take control of one’s computer, and not sending any money.
Qantas has been approached for comment.