Scammers try a lot of tricks in order to scam unsuspecting victims and the latest one that's making the rounds involves impersonating bank officials.

To keep you and your private information safe, we'll be taking a deep dive into what this scam is, what to keep an eye out for, and what to do if you come across a scammer trying to get their hooks into you.

Just remember that if you need support or someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available 24/7 to chat whenever you need it.

What is this bank official impersonation scam?

As the label on the (metaphorical) tin suggests, this scam involves scammers sending out texts, emails or phone calls to unsuspecting victims. In these texts and emails, the scammer is impersonating a bank official and is trying to trick the victim into thinking that they've missed a payment or that their account has been suspended for some reason.

These fake texts and emails come with a phishing link that the scammer is prompting the victim to click on. The link will go to a phishing site designed to trick people into sharing their personal information, which scammers will then steal for nefarious purposes.

There are a number of things to keep an eye out for in these fake texts and emails:

  • The URLs as they look weird or have several random letters and characters in them.

  • There may be grammatical or typos in the texts and emails.

  • The texts come from strange numbers and/or emails come from strange emails.

What to do if you spot this scam

A number of banks, including Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Macquarie Bank, has issued warnings to customers that scammers are impersonating employees and to stay vigilant should they receive any suspicious email, text or phone call.

If you've received a phishing email of any kind, the first thing is to avoid opening it and report it to your bank before deleting it directly from your inbox or phone.

If you've accidentally clicked on a link in the phishing email, do not enter any information on the site you're directed to. If you've clicked on or saved a suspicious attachment, delete it immediately and run an anti-virus scan on your device.

It's important to note that no bank will ever send its customers an email or SMS asking for banking information like a client ID and password, or include a link to login directly from an email or SMS.

If you've shared personal or financial details in response to the phishing email, you need to:

  • Contact your bank immediately to let them know what happened and ask what they can do to help.

  • Change the passwords for any online accounts that might be at risk. Make sure to use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security.

  • If you've shared personally sensitive information, such as your driver's licence, passport details, or contact details, visit IDCare for assistance on how to address potential identity theft.

  • File a report with the Australian Cyber Security Centre here.

If you are ever unsure whether an email, message or phone call is legitimately from your bank, always contact them directly or visit a branch in person.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Information sourced from: Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie Bank, and NAB

Image credit: Nick-D at Wikimedia Commons

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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