Fraud and scams
At Rural Bank we are committed to keeping your money safe and secure. We proactively investigate suspected fraudulent activity on your account and will notify you if necessary. You will be reimbursed for any amount that is proven to have been fraudulently removed.
Fraudsters use a number of techniques to trick unsuspecting victims with the intention of stealing funds from their accounts. Subsequently, it is important to be aware of the latest scams and how to be protected.
Phishing (hoax emails and phone calls)
Phishing is the practice of sending hoax emails claiming to come from a genuine company in an attempt to trick you into disclosing personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords and bank card numbers. These emails generally ask you to ‘update’ or ‘verify’ your personal information and contain a link to a fake website. If you log on the fake website, your personal information will be recorded and this information will be used to steal money from your account.
Alternatively, the hoax email might claim that your account will be closed or other problems could occur if you don't call a customer support phone number. This is called Voice Phishing or Vishing. The phone number provided in these emails is fake and if you call the phone number, the visher will ask for your account number, PIN and other personal information.
There are common elements that can help to identify a phishing email, these include:
- Generic or no salutation
Phishing emails are sent out at random to bulk email lists. The phishers will almost certainly not know your real name or anything else about you, and will address you in vague terms like "Dear Valued Customer" or not address you at all.
- Poor grammar
Phishers are generally individuals, not organisations and it is common that there are small grammatical and punctuation mistakes in their emails.
- Incorrect website address
The fake website address contained in a phishing email will be different to a company’s authentic website address. The fake address generally resembles a company’s authentic address but is altered slightly by adding or omitting letters. For example, the genuine Rural Bank website address is 'www.ruralbank.com.au', instead the phisher may use a fake website address like 'www.rurlbank.com.au' or 'www.verify-ruralbank.com.au Additionally, Rural Bank conducts online transactions through a secured protocol called Secure Socket Layer (SSL). This requires the website address to begin with https:// instead of http:// If you find the website address to be only http://, then it is most likely a phishing email.
- Asking for your personal details
You should immediately be suspicious of any phone call, email or correspondence which asks you to disclose your banking details. Rural Bank or its staff should never, for example, ask you for your PIN (although in some circumstances we might ask you to verify your access ID).
To be certain the caller is an authorised bank representative, you can always ask to call us back, then dial Rural Bank Internet and Phone Banking Support Services on 1300 651 839 or our Customer Service Centre on 1300 660 115 for a local call cost.
To find out more information about phishing and other scams please visit the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission Scam Watch website www.scamwatch.gov.au
A virus is a malicious software program that invades your computer. There are many viruses, some cause damage to your computer and others use the infected machine's internet connection to launch an attack on another computer or computer network.
A particularly serious virus is one that records keystrokes and logs your activities including your Internet Banking account numbers and PIN, network passwords and debit card number entered into online shopping sites. This information is then sent back to fraudsters who may use it to steal from your account and make purchases on your cards.
Keeping you browser, firewall and anti virus software up to date will help protect you against viruses and security threats.
A Trojan horse is a computer virus that disguises itself as useful software available on the internet. These programs can damage your computer and result in spyware being installed, strangers accessing your private files, capturing keystrokes or taking screen shots of websites you have visited. This information, which may include account information and passwords, is then sent to the fraudsters over the internet.
The most common means of infection is through email attachments. Typically the fraudsters send out emails at random offering recipients a free game, movie, song etc if they click on the file attached. The attachment will contain the virus, when opened it will infect your computer.
To protect your computer from Trojans and spyware you should keep your browser, firewalls and antivirus software up to date.
If you suspect a third party is or has accessed one or more of your accounts, you should immediately phone Internet Banking Support Services on 1300 651 839. We will put an immediate stop on your account and investigate the situation. Following the investigation, you will be issued with a temporary PIN that will need to be changed when you next use the service.