As the end of the year approaches and attention turns to the holidays, cyber criminals often find ways to take advantage of festive celebrations and customs.
ANZ Head of Customer Protection, Shaq Johnson, said: “As always, but particularly around key retail periods, it is important for customers to maintain a heightened level of awareness online to remain cyber safe.”
“People are busier than usual, and they’re also spending more time and money online, hunting around for deals. Common scams to watch for include fake parcel delivery or ‘parcel stuck’ notifications, bank impersonation and business email compromise attempts, ‘Hey Mum’ scams, fake e-gift cards, and travel-related scams.”
In 2023, ANZ saw a 59 per cent reduction in customer losses incurred by scams. Over that time, the bank’s customer protection team prevented more than $100 million going to cyber criminals.
“Cyber criminals will use several tactics to attempt to trick people into providing personal and financial details to them,” Mr Johnson said.
“The ‘parcel stuck scam’ is common at this time of year. This online scam sees scammers trick individuals into paying additional fees or providing personal information by claiming that their package is stuck in transit. These can be difficult to spot, especially as most people are expecting deliveries,” Mr Johnson said.
“The best gift you can give this December is to take proactive steps to safeguard yourself and your loved ones and be aware of the various tricks criminals may use when purchasing online. We always say, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Key ways to stay safe online:
- Be cautious of tempting offers: Some things are too good to be true. Be mindful of offers that place a time pressure on a purchase, urging you to buy now.
- Beware of new online stores: Watch out for new online stores with very low prices. While they may be tempting, check the website’s registration date using the ICANN Lookup search - if it was recently registered, it could be a scam.
- Don’t click on unexpected or unusual links: Never click on links sent via text, email or pop-up messages on social media. Chances are they will lead to a fake website. Always search for the official site in a web browser.
- Check the website URL: Scam sites sometimes use spelling very similar to the URL of official sites. Check for dashes, symbols, or typos in the URL.
- Verify information independently: Instead of relying on the communication received, contact the shipping company directly using their official website or phone number to confirm the status of your delivery.
- Use PayID or BPAY: If you can, use secure payment methods such as PayID or BPAY – and make sure the name matches the person or company you’re paying. Beware of unusual payment arrangements such as vendors that only accept gift cards.
- Inspect items in person: Where possible, always physically check items before making a purchase. The ability to view an item in person substantially lessens the likelihood you’re walking into a scam.
ANZ’s customer protection teams and systems operate 24/7. Customers who believe they may have been a victim of a scam should contact us immediately, on 13 33 50 or visit us at http://www.anz.com.au/security/report-fraud/ for more information.
For more information on the types of scams and how to protect yourself visit http://www.anz.com.au/security/types-of-scams.