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What is Scams Awareness Week?

An annual education and awareness initiative delivered nationally led by the National Anti-Scam Centre (NASC), a part of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Scams cost Australians over $3.1 billion1

Impersonation scams are on the rise with almost 80%2 of reported scams having some component of impersonation involved.

How it works

Scams are constantly evolving and the more we know about them, the warning signs and scammers' tactics, the better we'll be able to help protect each other.

Their tricks

Scammers are using more sophisticated techniques impersonating your loved ones or organisations that you trust.  With our busy lives and the constant emails or messaging how do you know who’s really there?

Can you detect which of these are genuine?

Screenshot of Bank of Melbourne Online Banking logon page with the URL "melbournefinance"

Is this the genuine Bank of Melbourne logon page?

Scammers create fake websites that are designed to make you feel like you are on a genuine website.

In this example the only difference is the URL (link) of the page and Bank of Melbourne in the top left corner. Everything else is designed to look and feel the same. If you enter your credentials to this site, they will be captured by a scammer, who may sell or share your details or attempt to commit fraud in your name.

It’s important when logging on to always type our website ( into your browser (not using a link from an internet search) directly, or via our App.

 Screenshot of SMS asking to send money to a certain BSB and account number

Were these messages sent by Mum/Dad?

Though it may look legitimate these are not genuine messages. Scammers will send out a message with a sender name that is familiar hoping to build trust, so you will action the request. Your mobile device may group this message into your conversation history, if the sender name and a stored contact match one another.

You may receive a request saying the sender lost their phone, forgot their wallet and eventually will ask to borrow money. It's always important to validate the person requesting money is legitimate. Call their old number, regardless of any claims the sender makes to confirm the request or check in with other family members to see if they have been advised of a change in number or received the same message.

 Screenshot SMS from Bank of Melbourne warning of low balance in account

Did Bank of Melbourne send this?

This is a genuine SMS from Bank of Melbourne. We may need to send you an SMS about a product or feature, should you have given us permission. Bank of Melbourne will never ask you to click on a link to logon directly to your banking or provide us your personal details via SMS.

 Screenshot of business email from a colleague asking you to complete a transaction ASAP

Would this be an email from someone you know?

Not quite. Although the email may appear to have been sent from someone you know, or you might be expecting the request, it's important to check for the red flags.  The red flags include urgency to complete the payment and only able to communicate via email no phone contact possible. 

Other red flags to look for are new emails or SMSs advising a change of payment details, or email address is different from the regular corresponding email.  Always contact the requestor via a publicly sourced phone number and confirm the payment details are correct before transferring any money.

*We removed the names and hid the emails in this example.

Screenshot of Bank of Melbourne alert SMS warning of restricted online banking access

Is this a genuine Bank of Melbourne SMS?

Though it looks genuine it isn’t. This is an example of SMS phishing where the scammers send a message using Bank of Melbourne as the sender name, trying to convince you it’s a trusted number. Be aware that your phone will group this scam SMS with legitimate messages sent from sender name Bank of Melbourne.

By clicking the link you will be taken to a fake logon page (phishing website) which requests your personal or banking information, including prompts to enter security codes. Bank of Melbourne will never ask you to click a link and logon directly to your banking. Please delete this message.

If you receive any messages regarding your account or transaction activity, do not click on any links provided via SMS - always logon securely to your account by typing to your browser or using the App.

Warning signs of an impersonator

You’re asked to share your passwords, security code with anyone, this includes your family and friends.

When an offer claims that you can't lose, has very little risk, or simply seems too good to be true.

You receive unsolicited contact via phone, email, SMS or a popup message, with pressure or intimidation to complete an action on the spot.

Unusual payment methods such as gift cards, crypto currency, using a transfer agent or cash withdrawals.

You receive payment instructions from a trusted supplier or conveyancer with different payment details.

You’re told not to tell anyone or are coached on what to say if asked.

If you’ve experienced any of the above, please get in contact with us immediately.

How to protect yourself

Here are some tips to help protect you from scams.

  1. Consider if the request is genuine. Always research who you’re dealing with and/or get a trusted second opinion. 
  2. Keep Security software up to date on all devices. Don’t open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails. Forward suspicious emails to then delete the email or message.
  3. Keep your personal/business details secure and don’t share passwords and security codes with anyone.
  4. Never give anyone remote access to your computer or device.
  5. Don’t send money or provide your personal details to anyone you have only interacted with online or via the phone.
  6. Always verbally validate the payment requests received via email. Use an independently sourced phone number you trust to check the account details. Don’t use the phone numbers in the email or invoice. 

Knowledge is power

By arming yourself with scam prevention knowledge, you can protect yourself and your account by identifying tricks that scammers use. 

Seeking help

If you've lost money or given your personal details to a scammer, there are steps you can take straight away to limit the damage and protect yourself from further loss.

  • Report it to us immediately
  • If you’ve shared your information to a scammer, visit IDCare
  • Register for the Australian Government's Scamwatch email alerts
  • Warn your family and friends about these scams
  • If the scam occurred on social media, report it to the social media platform.

Security Checklist

Here’s what to do if you have had a near miss.

The Detail

1. As reported in the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Targeting Scams: report of the ACCC on scam activity 2022.

2. As reported in the Scam Awareness Week 2023 website.