While CUA has been active in fighting fraud on a number of fronts, it is important that our members partner with us to reduce the likelihood of fraud on their accounts. It’s therefore appropriate to remind members of some basic precautions that should be taken to protect your money.
Here are some general tips on how to protect yourself against fraud:
There are many more important safeguards that you can take to protect you and your family against fraud. The Australian Government has an excellent website that provides detailed information on the latest fraud prevention methods - visit Stay Smart Online.
If you have any other queries, please contact us on 133 282 or visit your local CUA branch.
More detailed fraud security tips:
Identity fraud can happen in many ways. It can range from someone using your credit illegally, to having your entire identity assumed by another person and business conducted in your name without your consent.
There are some very simple processes which will assist you in preventing identity theft:
These can vary, but some typical signs that your identity is being used unlawfully are:
If you believe that you have had personal papers stolen, or have become a victim of identity theft, notify CUA Direct as soon as possible on 133 282 or visit your local CUA branch so a note can be placed against your membership. You should also advise any other financial institution that you bank with so they are aware of the situation.
Any instance of identity fraud should also be immediately reported to your local police.
In addition, consider contacting Veda Advantage, a credit agency, to obtain your credit history report so that you are kept fully informed of any unauthorised activity on your own file. Veda Advantage can be contacted via their Customer Service Centre on 1300 762 207 or at MyCreditFile.com.au.
Financial institutions in Australia has been subject to various email scams that are designed to compromise the personal information of members in order to illegally obtain and transfer funds overseas.
There are generally two types of emails aimed at obtaining your personal information:
From time to time, emails are distributed claiming to be from CUA. These are in fact fraudulent emails designed to obtain personal information.
These emails ask you to enter a website and then confirm your details. They may also state that specific funds have been debited from your account and that you need to confirm the transaction by clicking on a link and supplying card details.
If you receive this or a similar email pertaining to CUA, please do not follow any of the links, but report these to CUA by forwarding these emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have accidentally given out personal information regarding your account details, please change your password on Online Banking immediately. If you are unsure how to do this, or have any other queries, please contact our helpful staff at CUA Direct on 133 282 and they will assist you.
It is very important to note that no financial institution, including CUA, would ever ask you to confirm your identity or supply your passwords via email.
2. Virus or trojan emails
These emails come from senders who are usually unknown to the receiver. They contain links or attachments that may download and install malicious software (malware) onto your computer. These emails can have subject headings such as “The queen is dead” or “Win tickets to a concert”, or such subjects to catch your attention.
If you click on a link in these emails, or open an attachment, the malware will try to install itself automatically on your computer, though this could be blocked if you have the appropriate software security updates installed on your computer. However, some of these viruses are even programmed to uninstall your anti-virus scanner prior to downloading these viruses.
If you have already actioned an email by clicking on the link, or you notice that your computer has become slower and you have other icons on your computer that you don't remember downloading, these are signs that your computer has been infected by viruses.
In this case, have your computer professionally cleaned by a computer technician to remove any viruses/spyware that may have been downloaded, and have them install the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
While there are numerous scams that have been active, it would be impossible to note every one of them. Just remember that if the offer seems too good to be true then it probably is.
Some of the more common scams are listed below.
Online fraud depends on people who are prepared to launder money, commonly called money mules. The ads can appear on major employment websites, or via email, offering stay-at-home positions with various titles. Victims of this scam are asked to provide their bank account details so the employer’s customers can transfer funds. Often, commission payments are noted instead of wages.
However, the funds have been stolen from other bank accounts in Australia, and they are involving the person who applied for this position in money laundering, which can lead to a criminal record, heavy fines, and even imprisonment.
Fraudsters have been sending out letters and emails inviting individuals to participate in a scheme that ultimately turns out to be non-existent. The request could be from a Nigerian “senior civil servant” seeking a reputable person into whose account he can deposit funds ranging from $10-$60 million from the Nigerian government, or from a barrister claiming he needs someone to claim an inheritance from a deceased estate before the government claims the money.
Once the victim becomes confident of the potential success of the deal, something goes wrong. The victim is then pressured or threatened to provide one or more large sums of money to save the “deal.” Once that money is forwarded, the promised funds do not arrive.
This scam usually occurs in association with online auctions. A fake bidder offers to buy a product over the internet and sends a cheque for more than the agreed amount. The bidder then contacts the seller and asks for the additional money to be refunded by money order. Once the seller sends the overpayment, the bidder then cancels the original cheque leaving the seller out of pocket.
Victims of these scams receive a letter or email advising that they have won a large prize from the 'lottery'. In order to collect the prize, they must send money before a certain date to a bank account in the country that the lottery was drawn, to cover the cost of traces, bank fees, delivery and insurance costs.
The winner is asked to keep his/her prize confidential. There is a deadline to claim the money. Once the “transfer process” begins, the victim is informed of various delays requiring the payment of transfer fees, taxes, anti-terror fees, insurance fees, claims agent fees, and other administrative costs that they must pay before the prize can officially be collected.
Remember, if you didn’t buy a ticket in that lottery, you cannot expect to win a prize.
People looking for love online have proved to be particularly easy prey - mainly because dating website profiles provide personal information and preferences that allow scammers to tailor their approach. But "Mr Right" or the Russian bride hopes to dupe the lovelorn into becoming a money-launderer or drug mule.
Like the employment scams, the person is overseas, often in Russia or Nigeria. They ask their “love” to accept funds into their account, stating it is from a relative or close friend that is in Australia, so they can come out and meet the person they have been “dating.” Often the hook is they are coming out to marry them, but need the money for the airfare, but the person who is giving them the money is not able to transfer it overseas.
Again, like the employment scams, the funds transferred have been fraudulently obtained from other bank accounts in Australia.
Be aware of these and other scams, such as spam email, chain letters and persons purporting to be representatives of financial institutions seeking personal information.
Do not give or send your name, bank account details, copies of your passport, birth certificate or any other personal details to anyone unless you are absolutely certain they are legitimate.
Cheque books are like cash, especially if they fall into the wrong person’s hands.
To protect your cheque book, follow these simple tips:
There are many different forms of card fraud. The most common is that someone obtains your card details and uses them over the phone or online to make large purchases in your name.
To protect yourself from card fraud, follow these recommendations:
Internet banking fraud occurs when someone uses your details to access your account in Online Banking, and removes funds from your account illegally and transfers those funds to another account, often with a different financial institution. Access to your logon details is usually made possible through techniques such as phishing emails.
The following tips will help protect you against internet banking fraud:
The ‘Help’ button will assist you with any of these security or activity features.
These menus will allow you to make the following updates to your account:
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