Protect yourself from scams

The New Payments Platform means you should soon be able to pay money instantly into another person’s or business’ account 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.

You can also create with your financial institution a PayID, a simpler way to pay or be paid without having to remember your BSB and account number.

The New Payments Platform and PayID has been built by Australian financial institutions, including the four major banks and the Reserve Bank of Australia, with security top of mind. Some security measures include:

  • Payments can only be authorised by you through your participating financial institution’s online banking channels; and
  • When you pay someone using their PayID the name registered to that PayID will appear giving you a chance to confirm it’s the right person before you hit send.

Your payments will also be monitored by your bank, building society or credit union’s fraud detection tools.

But as hard as we might try to put the best safeguards in place, there will always be scammers that will try to swindle people and the most common way is through old-fashioned trickery.

Be scam-aware

These types of scammers have been around for a long time, and with the introduction of real-time payments, it’s important you remain alert to their tricks.

Scammers might pretend they are another person or company – like your bank, a government department, telephone company, or even a work colleague or boss – and convince you to either pay them money, or give them the information they require to access your accounts themselves.

They could contact you by email, text, phone call or social media and they’ll sometimes rush you, using urgency and panic to pressure you.

Thankfully there’s plenty of advice available from your financial institution or from services like ScamWatch about ways to spot and outwit scammers.

Take your time:

If you receive an unexpected email, text, or phone call, requesting money or sensitive information, don’t rush to act on it. If you suspect something could be wrong, listen to your instincts – always pause and question the request, especially if it has come out of the blue.

Look for clues:

If you’ve been contacted via email or text, there are some things you can look for when deciding if the correspondence is legitimate or not:

  • Is it addressed to you personally or something more generic like ‘Dear customer’?
  • Look at the logos, spelling and language – does anything seem odd?
  • Are there any spelling mistakes and is it badly written?
  • Do you recognise the email address or does it look strange with random characters included in it?

Don’t open attachments or click on links:

Sometimes scammers will try and trick you into checking or verifying your details by clicking links. If there’s an attachment or link in an email or text message that you don’t feel sure about, don’t open it – it could download dangerous software to your computer or phone.

Take control

If you suspect that the person who has called you is a scammer, simply end the call and contact the individual or company the person is claiming to be from. In fact, in all cases it’s advisable to contact the person or company you suspect is being impersonated. They will never mind you contacting them and checking, and if it is a scam, they will appreciate you reporting it.

More information

If in doubt always contact your financial institution. They will often have lots of information on their website about the latest scams and practical tips on how you can keep both your accounts and mobile banking devices secure.