Scams Awareness Week Nov 7-11: How to spot a scam

November 7, 2022

This week is Scams Awareness Week. Through the week IMB will be sharing tips and reminders on our social media pages to help our members understand what types of scams are currently being used by criminals to access your money, how they work and what to do if you think you have been scammed. The theme this year is “How to spot a scam.”

The number and frequency of banking scams continues to increase across industry. In 2021 Australians made more than 286,600 reports to Scamwatch and reported losses of around $324 million. By the end of August this year, Australians had lost even more with reported losses of over $381 million.

At IMB, we continue to update our website with information on scams as they evolve, and we also periodically update members via email and mail as a reminder to stay vigilant. Below is a range of scams that are currently prevalent. Remember: scammers continue to adapt and develop new approaches and technologies to commit fraud. When banking online, dealing with unsolicited calls or making investment decisions, ask yourself: “COULD THIS BE A SCAM?”

Some current scams

  • Lost phone scam: Someone posing as a relative or friend will text you from a different phone number claiming to have lost their phone and that they need your help. They will ask for money to be deposited into their account. We’ve seen a number of scams that start with a text via WhatsApp saying, “Hi Mum.”
    Spot the Scam! Do not transfer any money until you speak directly with your relative or friend to discuss their situation. Usually, their phone is still working.
  • Remote access scams: involve a scammer claiming to be from a trusted organisation – the police, the ATO, your bank, a telco or internet service provider – communicating with you directly to gain access to your computer or mobile device and personal data via the phone, email, or text or through pop-ups and chat functions on the internet.
    Spot the Scam! Never download any software at the direction of a third party or click any link provided in email or SMS. Hang up the phone immediately and call the agency via their documented phone number to verify the claims, even if the phone number looks legitimate (scammers can “spoof” numbers). Contact Scamwatch.
  • Investment scams: typically originate through unexpected contact – this could be via phone, email or social media – and will use fake trading identities, fake comparison websites, and paid ads on Google searches (which can catch people looking for investment opportunities). A scammer may pretend to be a stockbroker, investment adviser or claim to work on behalf of a reputable financial institution, often using the name of a legitimate employee. Contact is usually frequent and persistent to create a sense of urgency about the opportunity and to demonstrate a high level of customer service.
    Spot the Scam! If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Be extra-vigilant with verifying all websites – especially those on Google Ads – and cross-reference all contacts and personnel. Be suspicious of anyone offering high interest rates, asking for payment in crypto-currency, or who pressures you to commit. Speak with someone you trust or consult an advisor before making a significant financial decision.
  • Attempts to gain personal information: Sometimes this occurs via hacking or the installation of malware – either because your personal technology or a major corporation that holds your information (as recently seen with Optus and Medibank) is breached. Other times, criminals will attempt “phishing” via email or text, remote access scams, or setting up fraudulent social media accounts and attempting to “friend” you. Identities can also be stolen through unlocked physical mailboxes or discarded bills. Once scammers have enough personal information, they may attempt to apply for credit cards, loans and more. We’ve seen a number of scams that start with a text message claiming to be from Linkt about an overdue road toll.
    Spot the Scam! Do not click on unsolicited links, or download software at the direction of a third party. Dispose of personal information securely.
  • Romance scams: Sadly, this is an old-fashioned scam which is now targeting people through online contact. Scammers will pretend to be someone who cares for you, then over time ask for money, personal information and more, often without ever meeting you.
    Spot the scam! Be suspicious of anyone who refuses to meet you and asks for money.

What to do if you think you have been scammed

If you think you have been scammed, please contact us as soon as possible on 133 462 or visit your local branch. The earlier that you inform us of any concerns, the greater chance we have to try and help you avoid scam losses.

To learn more about scams, how to spot them and how to avoid them visit our Scams page and scroll through the Overview and Security Update tabs. More helpful information is available on the ACCC’s Scam watch page at and ASIC’s

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