An Australian man issued a warning after receiving a text message from a scammer posing as ANZ Bank, telling other potential victims to verify the phone number the message was sent from.
The fraudulent text message said a large payment to Qantas had been stopped and advised the recipient to call a number if it was a surprise.
‘Approximately three minutes ago, merchant QANTAS was stopped for $6850.00. If this surprises you, please contact us at 1800 95 32 85,” he said.
The man admitted that the text message seemed “legitimate,” but there was a tell-tale hint that it was a scam.
ANZ Bank’s official phone number is 13 33 44, while scammers often use the number in the text message: 1800 95 32 85.
Legitimate companies or banks are highly unlikely to contact you with such information via text message, but to confirm, you should call the number on the back of your bank card.
The same number is also used by scammers posing as NAB Bank.
“I got a text saying it was NAB Bank and they asked me to call 1800 953 285,” said another Australian.
‘A man with a British accent picked up the phone and very quickly asked to do an identity check without identifying himself.
“I called NAB to verify and they said they do not have this number, nor will they leave a number or link in the text asking customers to click or call back, stay tuned.”
The Twitter user posted a screenshot of a text he received from ‘ANZ Support’ on Tuesday saying a large payment to the airline had been ‘stopped’ (an ANZ bank in Sydney pictured).
The recipient of the text message (pictured) posted a screenshot of the scam attempt on Twitter on Tuesday and admitted that the message appeared “legitimate.”
It comes after Scamwatch warned Australians not to be tricked into opening fraudulent text messages sent by sophisticated hackers.
Phishing scams are attempts to trick people into providing personal information, such as bank account numbers, passwords, and credit card numbers.
The scammer will pretend to be from a legitimate business such as a bank, phone or internet provider to trick people into handing over personal information.
Sometimes they send alerts about “unauthorized” or “suspicious” activity on an account and ask if the recipient has authorized the payment.
If people say no, the scammer will take the opportunity to confirm the credit card details so the bank can “investigate”.
Phishing messages often look genuine, and scammers even copy the brand and logo of the organization they are trying to impersonate.
Scamwatch advises against opening links or attachments in emails that claim to be from a person’s bank or phone or internet service.
“About 3 minutes ago $6850.00 was stopped at merchant QANTAS, if this surprises you please contact us at 1800 95 32 85,” the scam text read.
The regulatory body recommends conducting an Internet search using the names or exact wording of the email or message to check for references to a scam.
People can also search for a secure symbol, with secure websites using a closed padlock or intact key in the bottom right corner of a browser.
Scamwatch recommends that people contacted by scammers ask for their name and contact number before independently consulting with the organization.
As of January 2023, Australians have lost a combined $2,902,256 to phishing scams with almost 10,000 people reporting they had been scammed.
Most of the scams were carried out over the phone, followed by text messages, followed by mobile applications and on the Internet.
Most of the people scammed were over 65 years old, women represented 75.4% of the scams and men the remaining 23.2%.
Qantas has been contacted for comment.
How to protect yourself from phishing scams:
Phone scammers try to steal your money or personal information. Scams can come from phone calls from real people, automated robocalls, or text messages.
The call or message may be a scam if:
- You are asked for personal information or money;
- Text messages tell you to urgently click on a link or call a number;
- The call or text pretends to be from someone you trust, like your phone company or bank;
- You are being threatened or made to feel scared;
- The caller wants to access and control your computer.
To protect yourself:
- Do not answer if you do not know who it is.
- Let the call go to voicemail.
- If a caller leaves a message claiming to be from a known organization, check the number the call came from with the organization’s official website.
- Never share any personal information about yourself or your bank details.
- Don’t click any links.
- Never let a stranger take control of your computer.
- Don’t send money.