How to help the elderly spot a scam.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, during the 2022-2023 financial year, 2.5% of Australians aged 65 and older had fallen victim to a scam.

Australians aged 65 and older are often targets of scammers for several reasons including the assumption that they have plenty of money saved, their trusting nature, especially towards those who claim to have their best interests at heart, and their lack of tech-savviness, making them easier to scam over the phone, online, or through social media.

So now, more than ever, it is important that older Australians are vigilant and know the signs of a scam to avoid getting caught. By working together with the help of their families and friends, the chances of losing their hard-earned money are reduced.

Here are some tips to share with the older Australians in your life:

  • Scammers will try to pressure you to act quickly; it's a tactic they frequently use. So, if someone is asking you to do something immediately, STOP, take a deep breath, think things through, and ask yourself if it's a scam.
  • If a texter, emailer, or caller claims to be from an organization you don't do business with, hang up or delete immediately.
  • If you receive a call or text from an organisation you do business with, hang up and call them back using contact details from a trusted source, such as information from a statement or the official company website.

Tip: If you’re a member of Defence Bank and have access to your banking app or online banking, ask the caller to send you a Verify Defence Bank Secure Message. This message is only accessible through your Defence Bank app or Online Banking and can only be sent by a legitimate Defence Bank member consultant.

  • Never provide sensitive or personal information over the phone, email, or via text. If you’re a Defence Bank member, call 1800 033 139 or send a Secure Message within your app or online banking to verify if the request is legitimate or a scam.
  • Be wary when reviewing emails. Never click on a link or open an attachment in a text or email that you are suspicious of. If in doubt, delete it.
  • If someone asks for a password or PIN number, they are a scammer. Never provide this type of information.
  • If you receive a robocall (an automated call with a prerecorded message), hang up.
  • If you receive a call and there is a 1-2 second lag before someone starts to talk, be alert as this could be a scam.
  • Don't send money or personal information to people in unusual locations or to strange banks.
  • If you receive a call and they request you to download an app, hang up immediately!
  • Watch out for follow-up scams. If a scammer is successful, they may try to scam you again.

To learn more about scams, read these articles:

How to spot an impersonation scam.

Defend yourself against deceptive follow-up scams.

Five major phishing scams that you need to avoid.


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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