ANZ, NAB warn against rising scams

Top emerging scams for 2024 revealed

ANZ, NAB warn against rising scams


By Mina Martin

As the new year unfolds, big banks NAB and ANZ are warning Australians to safeguard their information and remain vigilant against scammers amidst the evolving “scamscape.”

According to ScamWatch, January witnesses an annual peak in individual scam reports, with a staggering 57,000 cases reported in the initial two months of 2023 alone.

Top emerging scams for 2024

NAB’s fraud and cybersecurity experts have identified the top six scams to watch out for in 2024. These include AI voice impersonation scams, term deposit investment scams, remote access scams using chat, romance scams, ticket scams, and QR code phishing scams.

NAB Manager Advisory Awareness, Laura Hartley, emphasised the evolving “scamscape,” with AI voice scams and QR code phishing expected to be prominent this year.

“When many of us are relaxing, enjoying the new year, scammers are busy working on new scams,” Hartley said. “Criminals are targeting Aussies enjoying their break by using sophisticated technology to manipulate victims when and where they least suspect it.

“We have identified these six scams based on what we’re seeing overseas and key issues and challenges in society. These are scams every Australian needs to know about so they can recognise the red flags and protect themselves.”

Hartley highlighted a common theme among the identified scams – urgency.

“Scammers create a sense of urgency to encourage you to act quickly,” she said. “It could be a phone call from your ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ in distress and needing money, a fantastic term deposit rate that’s only available for a limited time or cheap concert tickets going quickly.

“AI voice scams are one of the six we are closely watching in 2024. They can be created with as little as three seconds of audio taken from a social media post, voicemail, or video on a website.”

New year, new opportunity

According to ANZ, the start of a new year offers an ideal chance to strengthen security measures, by using strong passphrases and turning on two-factor authentication to protect against cybercriminals.

Jess Bottega, ANZ senior manager, urged Australians to watch out for scams targeting jobseekers, especially in the early months of the year. Scammers send tempting job offers through email, texts, and social media with links that look real.

“We encourage everyone when looking for new jobs online to protect their personal information and to beware of any offer made through social media,” Bottega said. “Young people and recent school leavers can be particularly vulnerable to recruitment scams, with the promise of making quick money the biggest lure.”

Australians aged 25 to 44 report the highest losses to recruitment scams.

Protecting personal information online

ANZ dished out some tips on how to be protected online:

  • Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) – 2FA adds an extra layer of security by verifying your identity when logging into accounts, like banking, email, or social media.
  • Prefer passphrases – Choose a passphrase, a sentence-like combination of words, for stronger security.
  • Enable automatic updates – Regular updates are crucial to safeguarding digital devices and help prevent unauthorised access.
  • Be social media smart – Protect your digital footprint by regularly checking and adjusting your social media posts and privacy settings. Even seemingly harmless details, such as workplace or birthday photos, can be exploited by scammers for impersonation and identity theft.
  • Watch for unexpected messages – Stay cautious of unusual or urgent messages, especially those with links or requests for personal information. These are common signs of scams.
  • Keep email addresses private – Safeguard your email from spam by avoiding unnecessary online sharing. Consider having separate email accounts for personal and business use, and use filters to detect and block spam emails.

Bank customers who believe they have been scammed are encouraged to contact their lender ASAP.

Read more about the banks’ scam warnings here and here.

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