NAB thwarts $25m scam

Bank reveals tips to spot red flags

NAB thwarts $25m scam


By Mina Martin

Sydney business banker Thurston was alerted by a long-standing customer, Daniel Smith*, about an “attractive” term deposit offer, raising the first red flag due to the large sum involved.

“He had received an attractive term deposit rate from who he thought was another reputable bank and called to see if NAB could match. If not, he would take his cash and go,” Thurston said.

Although the offered rate didn't immediately raise Thurston’s suspicions, the customer’s intent to transfer $25 million in a single transaction flagged potential concerns.

NAB team effort identifies scam

Thurston called on NAB’s private wealth banker Amit and investment specialist Jessi to investigate the term deposit rate offer and discovered several discrepancies, including odd logo placement, incorrect ABN, grammatical errors, and an unlisted deposit rate, confirming the scam. Within the hour, they called the customer back and the scam was foiled.
Investment scams rank consistently in the top-five reported by NAB customers, with the ACCC’s Scamwatch estimating that Australians lost $1.5 billion to such scams in 2022.

How to spot red flags

Amit and Jessi’s prompt action highlighted key indicators of a scam. Below is a list of tips from NAB to avoid falling victim to scams:

  • Trust your instincts – if an offer seems too good to be true, it likely is.
  • Take time to carefully review documents for clear signs of fraud like spelling mistakes and unusual formatting.
  • Verify rates and other details against the bank’s official website, and directly contact them through their listed number for confirmation.
  • Verify critical numbers like ABN, account number, and credit license, but remain cautious as criminals might impersonate legitimate organisations.

*Name changed for privacy.

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