As a customer you may be seen as a potential target for fraudulent activities. However by arming yourself with information and tools you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.
Do you know the four biggest fraud threats you face?
- Electronic fraud
- Identity theft
- Credit/Debit card fraud
- Cheque fraud.
Credit card and debit card fraud is a crime whereby your credit or debit card can be reproduced in order to use the credit balance to obtain a financial advantage. The creation and/or alteration of a credit/debit card occurs when the information contained on the magnetic strip is reproduced. This type of crime is known as ‘skimming’.
Credit or debit card fraud can also occur when your card is lost or stolen and used by a third party to purchase goods with those cards or to remove cash from the cards.
Credit or debit cards can also be intercepted in transit while being sent to you. Your cards can also be compromised by a dishonest merchant who undertakes unauthorised duplicate transactions on your card.
Protect your credit / debit card:
- Memorise your personal identification number (PIN). Don't use the same PIN for all your cards, and don't choose your birth date or other easily identifiable numbers that might be on something else in your wallet.
- Check statements and call your credit card issuer immediately if you see anything suspicious on your bill. You could help the company uncover fraud—and save yourself from paying unauthorised charges.
- Do not let your credit card out of your sight at anytime – for example, at a restaurant – go with the card.
- Card fraud is not applicable in Australia only – be just as vigilant when travelling overseas, credit card skimming is an international crime.
- Always sign your card in ink as soon as you receive it.
- Keep track of when new and reissued cards should arrive, and call the credit card issuer if they don't come on time.
- Make sure your mailbox is secure, and that only you and the postal carrier have access to it.
- Tear up all credit card receipts and pre-approved credit card offers into small pieces before you throw them away. Keep your billing statements in a safe place.
- When you use your credit card online, make sure you are using a secure website. Look for a small key or lock symbol at the bottom right of your browser window.
- Never give your card number to strangers or telemarketers who call you on the phone. Don't give your card number unless you initiated the call.
What is cheque fraud?
Cheque fraud is the use of a cheque to get financial advantage by:
- altering the cheque (payee/amount) without authority
- theft of legitimate cheques and then altering them
- duplication or counterfeiting of cheques
- using false invoices to get legitimate cheques
- depositing a cheque into a third party account without authority
- depositing a cheque for payment knowing that insufficient funds are in the account to cover the deposited cheque.
How to protect yourself from cheque fraud
- Reconcile your accounts promptly and regularly
- Never sign blank cheques, and only sign cheques after all details have been completed.
- Limit the number of signatures to your account to ensure control.
- Ensure that your signature is not with documents that can be accessed by the general public.
- Keep all cheques secure when not in use to deter theft.
- Don’t leave any gaps in the completion of the payee name, amount in words and in figures.
- If cheques are lost or stolen contact ANZ immediately and ask them to stop payment on the cheque.
- Ensure that any invoices are valid before payment.
- Consider using electronic means of payment (if possible) for high value payments.
- Ensure that your mailbox is secure to protect your inward cheques.
What to do if you suspect that you are a victim of cheque fraud you must contact ANZ immediately on 13 33 50, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (International +61 3 9683 9999)
Email scams and fake websites
A number of customers from Australian financial institutions have been targeted with hoax emails. These emails appear to be genuine bank emails.
Some emails inform the customer that their security details and passwords need to be updated by logging into an authentic looking, but fake website. The purpose of these websites is to obtain your log on details to access your bank accounts.
Others communicate security messages and advise you to install software from the email that checks and removes viruses. By downloading the software you are in fact tricked into downloading a virus.
ANZ will not send you an email asking for your Account Details, Financial Details, or login details for ANZ Phone Banking, ANZ Mobile Banking or ANZ Internet Banking.
If you have any concerns, call the Internet Banking Help Desk on
Also check our security alerts page for updated information on fraudulent communications.
This is an example only, the content and look of the emails change.
Identity theft is where your personal details are obtained to get some sort of financial or other benefit, leaving you the owner of that identity often in large debt with a negative credit history and in some cases with legal implications.
Your information can be obtained in many ways:
- Theft, including theft of mail from your mailbox at home
- By going through your garbage bins
- Telephone, Fax and Mail scams
The following can be used to assume your identity:
- Date of birth
- Utilities bills (phone, gas, water and rates notices)
Find tips on how to protect yourself from identity fraud and other threats.
- For more information on scams.
- Your rights and responsibilities with respect to your accounts are included in the relevant Product Disclosure Statements.
- Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited (APCA) has a brochure outlining how you can protect yourself from cheque fraud.