The scams and fraud pandemic.

COVID-19 has seen a pandemic of scams and fraud to secure personal details to gain access to bank accounts. Luckily, there are simple actions you can take to keep yourself safe from banking scammers and fraudsters.

Rule number one is to simply be aware.

Scammers use fake emails, phone calls or text messages to try and obtain personal information. And they can collect that information one little piece at a time. A name and birth date from a social media account, an address from an envelope in your letterbox, you replying to a seemingly innocent email or text message - without certain precautions in place, scammers could have all the information they need to make a series of cash withdrawals of small amounts of money or to make one large withdrawal.

They pretend to be from your bank, the World Health Organization, government, charities or legitimate businesses like travel agents, electricity, phone or internet providers, or your local supermarket.

You can count on us to do whatever we can to help you protect yourself.

Defence Bank will NEVER send an email or text asking for any personal or sensitive financial information, or that links directly to a sign-in page.

Government and other legitimate organisations will NEVER ask you to update details by clicking a link. If in doubt, talk to a friend or family member, or contact the organisation directly and ask.

If you receive a phone call from someone you don’t know asking for personal information, HANG UP. Call the company directly and check if they called.

NEVER open attachments from people or organisations you don’t know.

Always be wary of offers that sound too good to be true or ask for too much information.

Scammers and fraudsters know all the tricks of the trade. Anyone can get caught out.

Contact us at Defence Bank immediately if any of the following happens.

  • You shared your Defence Bank banking details in response to a hoax phone call, email or text.
  • You accidentally clicked on any links or downloaded any attachments from who you thought was Defence Bank.
  • You noticed any unusual transactions on your Defence Bank accounts.

How to spot a scam.

  • You’re asked to update or confirm personal details, including address, date of birth, bank account details, tax file number or any PIN or password.
  • The email or text message contains links that look suspicious. If you’re not sure, ask a friend or family member for help.
  • You are asked for immediate payment or an up-front deposit.
  • If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • The email address doesn’t match the company.
  • The caller asks to remotely access your computer.

Top tips to protect your financial information from scams and fraud.

  • If someone says they are calling from a company but it sounds suspicious, hang up, find their phone number e.g. their website and ring them directly.
  • Never share passwords or PINs. Passwords protect your devices. If you are using a shared computer (even with family) never save passwords e.g. on the desktop or leave sticky notes, and always log out of your account.
  • Regularly check your bank accounts so you notice suspicious transactions quickly.
  • Avoid swiping your card to make purchases. Tapping and inserting are often more secure.
  • Block cash advances on credit cards.
  • Have a different PIN for banking.
  • Change your PIN once every month.
  • Change your passwords regularly.
  • Set up transaction alerts.
  • Sign up for eStatemets and check transactions quickly.

Scammers and fraudsters piece together personal information gathered one little bit at a time.

There are many ways people will try to steal from you, here are the main ones.


An email or text is used to obtain your personal information by pretending to be from a trustworthy source like a bank, a charity, or government. The message looks real and will often ask you to enter personal information on fake websites, or ask you to click a link – this will allow people to access your computer and your personal information.

Online shopping scams.

Scammers pretend to be real online shops, either with a fake website or a fake ad on a genuine retail site. Fake online shopping sites will often request unusual payment methods such as upfront payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer or gift cards.

Investment scams.

The scammer claims to be a stockbroker or portfolio manager offering financial or investment advice. They will ask you to hand over money for an investment opportunity that may, or may not, be real, they then keep your money.

Remote access scams.

Scammers will claim there is something wrong with your computer or internet connection, or that it has become infected with is called malware. They will try to convince you to install an application or give them access to your computer. And they will try to convince you the matter is urgent. They will use this to access your personal information or demand a ‘fee’ for fixing the problem.

Relationship and dating scams.

Scammer forms a relationship with you to extract money or gifts. They develop the relationship over time and may ask you to transfer assets into their name or ask to become a beneficiary of your will. Often, they will ask for money to fix a health, travel or family problem.

Talk to us about the best way to protect your account - from setting up alerts to notify you of transactions to registering you for VIP Access to send you a real-time code to enter to complete your transaction.

If you think you have been scammed, report it to Defence Bank immediately.

Read next:
Top tips on how you can protect your password.
How to protect yourself from a phone porting scam.


Important note: This information is of a general nature and is not intended to be relied on by you as advice in any particular matter. You should contact us at Defence Bank to discuss how this information may apply to your circumstances.

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