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Hang up to stop remote access scams, says Bendigo Bank

2 April 2024 |Announcements

Bendigo Bank is warning the community about remote access scams in which fraudsters gain access to individuals’ computers or devices under false pretences, often resulting in significant financial losses.

Australia-wide, more than $15 million was reported lost from 8,975 remote access scam reports in 2023, according to Scamwatch.

While recent National Anti Scam Centre data shows reports of these hacking scams are down 10 per cent on the same period last year, the Bank is calling for ongoing vigilance as scammers continue to evolve their tactics.

“Scammers will use every trick in the book with the aim of gaining access to your phone or computer,” said Head of Customer Fraud and Scam Protection, Jason Gordon.

“Once access is granted, scammers may install malicious software, steal sensitive information, or initiate unauthorised transactions, leaving victims and their bank accounts vulnerable,” he said.

‘If you did not originate the call and you’re being asked for information or to enable remote access, hang up!”

Almost half of all remote access scams reported to ScamWatch in 2023 were by phone, but these scams can also be via text, social media or email. Scammers establish trust by claiming to work for your bank, a utility company, delivery service, telecommunication services (such as NBN), or a government agency.

“Criminals are getting adept at carefully constructing often complex communications that convincingly mirror those of the brand they are impersonating,” Mr Gordon said.

“A recent scam case reported to the Bank detailed an account of a scammer claiming to be from a company the customer was familiar with. To legitimise the call and their alleged credentials, the scammer had created an authentic-looking LinkedIn profile and directed the victim to it in a successful effort to gain trust.”

“This kind of trickery, combined with other tactics like spoofing – when phone calls appear to come from legitimate numbers and SMS messages appear in the same conversation thread as genuine communications – make it extremely difficult for people to detect genuine communications.”

Bendigo Bank is committed to educating customers and the wider community to be especially wary of calls, text, emails about online banking in which there is a request to:

  • download programs or software that allow screen sharing to be enabled
  • reset your password after a recent series of scam attacks
  • purchase a new modem to fix your internet connection
  • update your account or device with new security features, or
  • provide personal details to verify your account activity.

“Remember, we will never call you to ask you to transfer funds, send money or ask for your PIN/Password. We will never ask you to download software or enable remote access to your devices,” Mr Gordon said.

“If you are speaking to someone claiming to be from Bendigo Bank and you are unsure if the caller is legitimate, hang up and contact us directly on 1300 236 344,” Mr Gordon said. 

“The Bank will never ask for your details, or to transfer money, download software or login via a link sent through email or SMS. Bendigo Bank has removed links from all our SMS messages, so customers who receive an SMS that includes a link should treat that as suspicious.” 

Mr Gordon’s advice to customers who may have fallen victim to a bank impersonation scam is to visit www.bendigobank.com.au/security immediately to report it and get support. 

Bendigo Bank recommends stopping scammers in their tracks by following Scamwatch’s advice: 

  1. STOP – Don’t give money or personal information to anyone if unsure.
    Scammers will offer to help you or ask you to verify who you are. They will pretend to be from organisations you know and trust like Services Australia, police, government, or a fraud service. 
  2. THINK – Ask yourself could the message or call be fake?
    Never click a link in a message. Only contact us, businesses or government using contact information from their official website or through their secure apps. If you’re not sure, say no, hang up or delete.
  3. PROTECT – Act quickly if something feels wrong. 
    If you notice unusual activity or if a scammer gets your money or information, visit www.bendigobank.com.au/security to report it and get support. 

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of this nation and the Traditional Custodians of the land where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present as it is their knowledge and experience that holds the key to the success of future generations.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Information on this page can change without notice to you.
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