March 2023 - Undercover Police/ Cash Withdrawal Scam
We are aware that a higher influx of calls to customers requesting cash withdrawals where the callers are pretending to be representatives of the Undercover Police. The callers are targeting the elderly and vulnerable, claiming that police are working on an operation to stop a hacker inside of BOQ from stealing your money. They introduce themselves with an alias, badge/staff number and fake reference number.
The caller claims that no money will be lost as it will be re-deposited later, whilst another party pretends to be a staff member to gain your personal details including address. These callers coach you into withdrawing cash from a BOQ branch, and provide a cover story (e.g., travelling overseas, work done on the house, and terminal illness related bills).
The scammers create layers of information, fabricate scenarios and individuals to create the illusion of a sophisticated sting operation. The secret nature of the operation is reinforced by convincing you to not tell friends, family or even the Bank.
After acquiring the cash, the scammers visit your address with a duffle bag to collect the cash and then disappear.
What to look out for:
- Unsolicited and unexpected phone calls from individuals claiming to be ‘undercover police’,
- Urgency and pressure to comply with the callers demands,
- Trusted organisations like the police will never ask for payment or for members of the public to assist in police operations. Take note of the name and badge number of the officer and contact your local police station to let them know.
How to protect yourself:
- Do not disclose personal information in an unsolicited or unexpected phone call,
- Never send or give money to someone you haven’t met in person,
- End the phone call if the caller is threatening or forcing you to do something (like withdraw cash),
- If you’re felling unsure, speak to a trusted family member, friend or the bank.
If in doubt, contact Virgin Money:
Report a cybercrime or cyber security incident to the ACSC via ReportCyber at www.cyber.gov.au/report, or call the Australian Cyber Security Hotline on 1300 CYBER! (1300 292 371).
For more tips and resources, visit: https://virginmoney.com.au/help/privacy-and-security/fraud-and-scam-assistance
January 2023 - VMA Bond Term Deposit Scam
We have been made aware of a VMA branded imposter bond scam, similar to what ASIC reported in January. Scammers are attempting to adopt the identities of legitimate VMA employees and claiming, “to be selling Term Deposits of 3.75% - 6.25% with an investor deadline of 30th January 2023”.
Investors may be targeted from completing enquiry forms, via some third-party or comparison sites, or expressing an interest in investing online via BTDR (best-termdepositrates.com).
The imposter reportedly initiates and maintains contact with interested parties, sometimes over an extended period of time. During this time they may provide application instructions, maturity dates, investment thresholds, and other specific details surrounding possible investment options.
What to look out for
- Unrealistically high returns or bonds which seem ‘too good to be true’.
- Consistent pressure to invest due to the ‘risk of missing out’.
- Professional looking forms or prospectuses with either:
- ‘lookalike’ email addresses (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org )
- non-genuine phone numbers (e.g. 02 9099 1675, 02 9191 7412)
- Unusual requests for personal information.
- Being asked to pay funds directly into a bank account.
If you have any concerns about the legitimacy of correspondence, please seek independent financial advice or contact us directly (either via email@example.com or using the details on our https://virginmoney.com.au/help/privacy-and-security/fraud-and-scam-assistance/report-a-fraud-or-scam page).
November 2022 - Online Shopping and Data Security
The busiest time of the year is approaching for online shopping, with enticing deals linked to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the festive season already appearing in our inboxes and in the media.
Online shopping scams continue to be one of the most common threats to Australians. These scams carry significant risks, exposing individuals and businesses through fake product listings and payment requests, and non-secure payment avenues.
The increasing storage of personally identifiable information, including card details on sites visited at this time of year, continues to elevate the risk by exposing individuals and businesses to data hungry cybercriminals.
Once a cybercriminal has your bank details from one of these scams, not only will you be disappointed that your goods never arrived, but also that your identity and bank information has been stolen.
What to look out for:
- Requests for payments via bank transfer or virtual currencies.
- Links in emails asking for bank details or other information.
- Emails and messages about items yet to be delivered or where a fee is required to release a ‘failed’ delivery.
- Inadequate information about privacy, conditions of use, dispute resolution or contact details.
How to shop online securely:
- Use secure devices, avoid public wi-fi networks.
- Protect your payment information and accounts, avoid saving your payment details to online shopping accounts.
- Use trusted sellers.
- Know the warning signs.
If you receive any suspicious emails or messages, do not click any links or provide your card details. Be wary of online shopping deals and discounts, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
If in doubt, contact us:
If you have any concerns about the legitimacy of correspondence, contact our Customer Contact Centre team immediately on 13 81 51 or using the details on our Contact Us page.
Report a cybercrime or cyber security incident to the ACSC via ReportCyber at www.cyber.gov.au/report, or call the Australian Cyber Security Hotline on 1300 CYBER1 (1300 292 371)
September 2022 - Online Security
Scams and fraud can happen to anyone. That’s why Virgin Money's Financial Crimes Operations Team monitors customer accounts for any suspicious activity including consideration of events such as the recent Optus data breach.
For more information regarding the Optus data breach and what this may mean for you, visit:
To take extra steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from scams, here are some handy tips:
👉Don’t click on links within unsolicited text messages, emails or social media messages. Go to directly the app or website by entering the correct details yourself.
👉When it comes to unknown phone calls, check the number and call the organisation directly using their legitimate details.
👉Update your passwords, using a strong password not used for other accounts. Add two-factor authentication (2FA) to internet banking and personal accounts.
👉Monitor your transactions regularly, consider using PayID and review the payment transfer limits on your accounts.
👉If your identity has been compromised, contact us. You can also explore more via reputable sources such as scamwatch.gov.au, cyber.gov.au and idcare.org.
To report a fraud or scam, contact our Customer Contact Centre team immediately on 13 81 51 or using the details on our Contact Us page.
September 2022 - Digital Wallet Phishing Scams
Individuals have reported receiving a message via SMS using the brand of well-known companies such as Netflix and Linkt to target customers and gain their personal information and card details by saying that your payment information needs to be updated, you have unpaid tolls or your account has been suspended due to a payment failing.
The SMS contains a link to a legitimate looking website and prompts you to enter your card information. These details are being used to register the card information to a digital wallet on the mobile device of the scammer.
To complete the Digital Wallet registration, a verification code is sent via SMS and when this code is obtained the scammer, they can successfully register the victim’s card to their own Digital Wallet and make purchases.
What to look out for and how to protect yourself:
- If you receive an unexpected call or SMS requesting payment, you should never click the link in the message or provide card/account information. Contact the company directly using a verified phone number or trusted channel to confirm the request.
- You should never share or disclose verification codes with a third party.
- If you think your account details or card details have been disclosed to a scammer, or if you receive a verification code that you didn’t request, contact our Customer Contact Centre team immediately on 13 81 51 or using the details on our Contact Us page.
- August 2022 - Family Impersonation Scam via WhatsApp, Text-Message and Social Media