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Scams and Fraud: Arm yourself with knowledge

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Ignorance is not bliss in the case of financial security. You need to arm yourself for combat against fraudsters with as much information as you can to ensure you are not caught out.
Phone and email scams

Never divulge your personal or financial information to anyone over the phone or online if you don’t know for sure who they are or where they are from. This means not advising your date of birth, address, full name, or account numbers and card numbers.

Never divulge to any person your card PIN nor your Online Banking passwords and codes. Remember, Northern Inland staff will never ask you for this information either.

If you are unsure of the identity of the person you are communicating with, terminate the conversation or terminate the online session. Contact the company by getting the phone number from a trusted source like the White Pages. Similarly, if you are unsure that a staff member from Northern Inland is calling you, hang up and ring us back on 6763 5111, and ask for the staff member by name.

Online scams

We encourage all our Members to educate themselves on how to identify fraudulent websites so they are not caught out. Some things to look out for include:

  • A legitmate URL – with no unusual characters or strange symbols EG http://%nic3u.com.4u
  • Unusual messages asking you for personal details – that should ring alarm bells.
  • Research the website/ read the reviews
  • Websites that have limited information about their business and only provide a PO Box for their address
  • Fake padlock on the page to imply security for online transactions. The padlock should only appear in the browser’s address bar for internet explorer or in the progress panel for Mozilla Firefox
  • Be wary of people who are keen to develop a friendship or romance online with you, and then start mentioning money problems.

Beware of free trials: things are rarely free. Read all the terms and conditions before making an online purchase. Many free trials have special actions you need to take within deadlines in order to cancel the trial, otherwise the company commences to bill you each month without further contact with you.

Travel scams

One of the most common travel scams is a message that arrives out of the blue saying you’ve won a free trip or scored a great deal on a holiday. These can appear as a pop-up message while you’re browsing the internet, or a message you receive after filling out an online survey.

Do not provide your bank account, credit card details or other personal information to someone who has called out of the blue, or via a pop up message saying you have won a prize.

ATMs and Merchant EFTPOS units

Always keep your card safe; never hand it over to someone else. Take care to cover the keypad when entering your PIN.

Check an ATM before you use it: does it look like it has any devices or new parts attached at the machine where you scan or dip your card? It could have a skimming device installed which copies your card details so that a fraudster can make a duplicate copy of your card. If you have any doubts, use another ATM.

Keep informed

There are a few Government websites that we recommend people regularly visit and register for alerts so that you are up to date in a timely manner.

  • scamwatch.gov.au  – which tells you what scams are currently prevalent, and what to do if you have been scammed
  • staysmartonline.gov.au – which gives you information particularly about online scams and tips on how to protect yourself when making online transactions
  • If it’s an Australian site that you are buying from, you can check if the ABN is legitimate at: https://abr.business.gov.au
Check your statement regularly

You should aim to check your account transaction every month. This means you can quickly follow up on any transactions that might be unauthorised or fraudulent. The earlier you let us know about an issue, the more likely it is that we can recover funds on your behalf.

Alerts

All Northern Inland Members can set up Alerts for when your account is credited and debited which means you can keep an eye on what is happening with your account and identify anything unusual very quickly, as you receive the SMS messages. You can set up Alerts via your Online Banking session or contact us if you need help getting started.

Don’t be afraid to call us

It’s better to be sure than sorry. We encourage all Members to call us to report any suspicious phone calls or unauthorised transactions on their account. Check the news items on our website: we will tell you about current scams that are occurring with our Members and in north west NSW.

For any concerns, please call us on 6763 5111. We are pleased to help you look after the security of your funds and account information.

This information was correct as at 27.02.19

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