As a customer you may be seen as a potential target for fraudulent activities. However by arming yourself with information and tools you can protect yourself from becoming a fraud victim.
Do you know the four biggest fraud threats you face?
Email scams and fake websites
A number of Internet users have received emails claiming to be from financial institutions or other legitimate organizations.
Some emails inform the recipient that their security details and passwords need to be updated by logging into an authentic looking, but fake website. The purpose of these websites is to obtain your log on details such as your Personal Identification Number (PIN), Username, and password to your Internet bank accounts.
Others may communicate security messages or attachments for you to download. If the email is from an unknown source, or if you are suspicious of the nature of the email, delete it immediately. Do no open any attachments or install any programs provided.
To ensure you are always viewing and transacting on a legitimate ANZ site, always access ANZ Internet Banking by typing the "anz.com" into the address bar. Never access ANZ Internet Banking by clicking on links provided in an email.
If you have any concerns, contact the ANZ Internet Banking Help Desk.
This is an example only; the content and look of the emails change.
ANZ warns our customers and members of the public to be wary of various job scams advertised via the Internet.
Bogus overseas companies have been targeting unwitting victims to act as 'money transfer agents' in the sale of goods and services via methods such as job advertisements, unsolicited emails and online chat rooms.
'Employees' are asked to use their own bank accounts to transfer money overseas. In most cases, victims are instructed to send these funds abroad, and are promised a percentage of the transfer as commission.
The job advertisement websites look very professional and convincing. Please note some job advertisements contain trojan horses that allow the job advertiser to access the person's computer and collect their personal details, including bank account details. Exercise extreme caution if you receive an email from any person or company asking for your personal and banking details.
Finally, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
This is an example only; fake job advertisements come in many different forms.
Identity theft is where a dishonest individual or syndicate will gather your personal details in order to gain financial or other benefit, often leaving the owner of that identity in large debt, a negative credit history, and in some cases with legal implications.
Your information can be obtained in many ways:
- Theft, including theft of mail from your mailbox at home
- By going through your garbage bins
- Telephone calls where thieves use deception to obtain your details
The following can be used to assume your identity:
- Date of birth
- Utilities bills (phone, gas, water and rates notices)
How you can help protect your identity:
- Report any loss or theft of documents such as driver licence, credit card or passport immediately
- Keep tax records and other financial documents in a secure place
- Cancel all unused or dormant accounts that you may have
- Secure your mailbox with a padlock where possible
- Obtain a copy and review your personal credit file at least every six months.
There are several ways that fraud can occur on your credit card or debit card account.
"Skimming" is a technique where information stored on your card's magnetic strip is stolen when your card is swiped during a sales transaction. Thieves are then able to reproduce fake cards using your stolen details. Once completed, fake replicated cards can be used to make purchases with your credit line.
Dishonest merchants can not only "skim" your card, but can also process unauthorized duplicate transactions using your card details.
Cards can also be lost or stolen by a third party during transit to your house. To protect you from this, you will receive your ANZ Card and PIN separately. Only one will be posted to you, and the other will be available for collection at your local branch.
Credit or debit card fraud can also occur when your card is lost or stolen and used by a third party to purchase goods or to withdraw cash from the card. It is important that you report any lost or stolen cards to ANZ immediately so that you can be issued with a new card number.
Protect your credit/debit card:
- Memorize your personal identification number (PIN). Don't use the same PIN for all your cards, and don't choose your birth date or other easily identifiable number that you might carry with you
- Check statements and call your credit card issuer immediately if you see anything suspicious on your bill
- Do not let your credit card out of your sight at anytime
- Card fraud can happen anywhere in the world; be vigilant when travelling overseas
- Always sign your card in ink as soon as you receive it
- Keep track of when new and reissued cards should arrive, and call the credit card issuer if they don't come on time
- Make sure your mailbox is secure, and that only you and the postal carrier have access to it
- Shred all credit card receipts and pre-approved credit card offers into small pieces before you throw them away. Keep your billing statements in a safe place
- When you use your credit card online, make sure you are using a secure website. Look for a small key or padlock symbol at the bottom right of your browser's window
- Never give your card number to strangers or telemarketers who call you on the phone. Don't give your card number unless you initiated the call.
Check fraud is the use of a check to obtain financial advantage by:
- Altering the check (payee/amount) without appropriate authority
- Theft of legitimate checks and subsequent alteration or conversion
- Duplication or counterfeiting of checks
- The use of false invoices to solicit legitimate checks
- Depositing a check into a third party account without authority
- Depositing a check for payment knowing that insufficient funds are in the account to cover the deposited check.
Check fraud can be conducted by internal and external parties to your accounts.
How to protect yourself from check fraud
Reconcile your account
- You are required to reconcile your accounts promptly and regularly. For business accounts, ensure independent overview by the appropriate level of management
- For business accounts, separate the check writing/electronic payments and account reconciliation functions
- If you hold business accounts, consider opening a separate account specifically for higher value checks, so they can be easily monitored
- Ensure that any damaged, old, or altered checks are destroyed.
Signing of checks
- Never sign blank checks, only sign checks after all details have been completed
- Limit the number of signatures to your account to ensure control
- Regularly review the account authorities
- Consider implementing a 'two to sign' policy
- Ensure that your signature is not affixed to documents that can be accessed by the general public.
- Keep all checks secured when not in use to deter theft
- Checks must be completed in a way that deters fraudulent alteration
- Ensure that a strong, bold and consistent font is used
- Leave no gaps in the completion of the payee name, amount in words and in figures
- Avoid use of acronyms for payee names
- Use only permanent ink (preferably black).
Ordering and maintaining checks
- If checks are lost or stolen, contact ANZ immediately and ask them to load a 'stop payment'
- Notify ANZ if you have not received an ordered check book.
- Ensure that any invoices are valid before payment
- Mark all invoices as paid payment is made
- Consider using electronic means of payment (if possible) for high value payments.
Protection of checks
- Avoid sending high value checks in the mail
- Avoid sending checks in window fronted envelopes
- Ensure that your mailbox is secure to protect your incoming checks
- Avoid providing your banking details to external parties.
What to do if you suspect that you are a victim of check fraud
If you suspect that you are a victim of check fraud or any other type of fraud, or if you detect an irregularity in your account reconciliation, you must contact ANZ immediately.
Terms and conditions:
It is important that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities with respect to your accounts. Further information can be found in the relevant ANZ Online Banking Consumer Terms and Conditions (PDF 141kB).
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