Tips to protect yourself from scams


Update your passwords

Aim for a password that is at least 8 characters long with a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters, symbols and numbers. You should update your passwords at least once per year and avoid using the same password across multiple accounts.

Use PayID

If you need to be paid by someone but would prefer not to give out your account and BSB number, you can create a PayID using your phone number, email address or ABN if you're a business.

Never click on suspicious links

If you’ve received a suspicious link or attachment from an unknown number via text or email do not click on it. If in doubt, do an online search of the phone number to see if it has been reported as a scam.

Check your statements

Check your bank account and credit card statements regularly to spot any suspicious or unknown transactions. If you see a transaction you know was made fraudulently, contact us immediately.

Stay alert

We will never ask you for your online banking password, card PIN, or SMS verification codes. If you ever have any concerns about an incoming call you have received from someone claiming to be from Auswide Bank, hang up and contact us directly.

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed or had your identity stolen

  • Lock or cancel your Visa Debit Card or Low Rate Visa Credit Card using Internet or Mobile Banking.
  • Change your access code for Internet and Mobile Banking.
  • Contact us immediately if you notice any suspicious transactions from your account.
  • Contact IDCARE for expert help. If you're concerned your information has already been compromised, IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand's national identity and cyber support service. They provide free support for anyone with concerns about their identity or related cyber security.
  • Report the scam via Scamwatch to the ACCC.  
  • Contact the ATO if you know or suspect that someone has stolen your tax file number (TFN).

For further information, other reputable and helpful resources include:

Types of scams

Visit to learn about the different types of scams.

Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers.

Warning signs:

  • You receive an email, text or phone call claiming to be from a bank, telecommunications provider or other business you regularly deal with, asking you to update or verify your details.
  • The email or text message does not address you by your proper name, and may contain typing errors and grammatical mistakes.
  • The website address does not look like the address you usually use and is requesting details the legitimate site does not normally ask for.
  • You notice new icons on your computer screen, or your computer is not as fast as it normally is.

Do not click on any links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from your bank or another trusted organisation and asking you to update or verify your details – just press delete.

In the wake of a disaster, the Aussie spirit and neighbourly kindness that sees many people offer a helping hand to their local community, can often become a target for scammers.

In amongst all the legitimate charities and organisations providing financial aid, there are many scammers posing as non-for-profit groups, seeking to take advantage of individuals’ heightened generosity.

Warning signs:

  • If you've never heard of the charity before, or if it sounds like a charity you know, but there is a slight change to the name. 
  • If they do not provide you with a receipt or there is no charity name on the receipt.
  • They pressure you into donating or make you feel guilty.

Genuine charities are registered – you can check an organisation's credentials on the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) website.

Approach a charity directly if you wish to donate, rather than donating to a person who has contacted you through phone, text or email.

While they might be hard to spot initially, scammers will go to great lengths to build what feels like the romance of a lifetime, showering you with loving words, sharing ‘personal information’ and even sending you gifts over the course of months.

Warning signs:

  • Their messages are often poorly written, vague and escalate quickly from introduction to love.
  • Once they've gained your trust, they will ask you for money, gifts or your banking/credit card details.
  • Sometimes the scammer will send you items such as laptops or mobile phones or even transfer you money with the intention of having you send these on somewhere else on behalf of them as a way of covering their criminal activity.

If you think you've been scammed, let us know immediately.

Selling items

If you are advertising your items for sale through print or an online market place, beware of scammers posing as genuine buyers. Scammers may make up stories such as needing your help to pay for upfront costs like transportation or insurance. They may promise you reimbursement for these costs.

Warning signs:

  • The potential buyer is willing to purchase your item without having viewed it in person – even if you are selling an expensive item such as a car.
Buying items

Scammers will pose as genuine sellers and post fake ads often using pictures and other details copied from another seller’s ad. The scammer will advertise the item at a low price, much lower than comparable items advertised, to lure you in.

When you show interest in the item, the scammer may claim that they are travelling or have moved and that someone else will deliver the goods on their behalf following receipt of payment. However, one you have paid, you may receive a fake receipt and you’ll no longer be able to contact the seller.

Warning signs:

  • The seller requests that you pay through international money transfers, cheques or direct bank transfers.

Investment scams involve promises of big payouts, quick money or guaranteed returns. Always be suspicious of any investment opportunities that promise a high return with little or no risk.

Warning signs:

  • You receive a call, email or message on social media from someone offering unsolicited advice on investments.
  • You are contacted repeatedly and are told that you need to act quickly and invest or you will miss out.

Do not let anyone pressure you into making decisions about your money or investments and never commit to any investment on the spot.

Jobs and employment scams trick you into handing over your money by offering you a ‘guaranteed’ way to make fast money or a high-paying job for little effort.

Warning signs:

  • You come across an advertisement or receive an email, letter or phone call offering you a guaranteed income or job.
  • The message asks you to provide personal details or a fee for more information about the job or start-up materials.
  • The message does not have a street address, only a post office box or an email address.

Be suspicious of unsolicited 'work from home' opportunities or job offers, particularly those that offer a 'guaranteed income' or require you to pay an upfront fee.

False billing scams request you or your business to pay fake invoices for directory listings, advertising, domain name renewals or office supplies that you did not order. These scams take advantage of the fact the person handling the administrative duties for the business may not know whether any advertising or promotional activities have actually been requested.

Warning signs:

  • You receive an invoice for goods or services you did not order or a call from somebody claiming to be your regular supplier, offering goods that you have ordered before.
  • You receive an invoice or phone call from a business directory or other publication you’ve never heard of, ‘confirming’ your entry or advertisement. You recognise the listing as one you put in a different publication.
  • The caller claims that the government requires you to be listed in their register.

Keep written records of your authorisations for advertising or directory entries. If you receive an invoice or a telephone call, you can go back to your records to check it.

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