CBA bank scam alert

Commonwealth Bank customers warned to be beware of scams that could cost them thousands.
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  • Updated:25 Jun 2009

01.CBA bank scam alert

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) customers are urged to be on alert following a chain of scam attempts targeting people via telephone and SMS.

CBA spokesman, Bryan Fitzgerald, says telephone “vishing” and SMS “smishing” are new scams in which a person is contacted via phone or SMS and asked for personal account information.

“Like email phishing, these telephone and SMS scams are designed to extract financial account numbers, passwords, credit card details and information that can be used to access customer accounts and withdraw funds,” says Fitzgerald.

Phishing scams have mainly been conducted through emails, but fake call centres with local phone numbers demonstrate scammers are reaching a new level of sophistication.

Automated systems claiming to be the CBA are calling offices and homes several times a day, asking customers to ring an Australian number immediately to rectify an error in their account.

Calling the number prompts victims to enter in sensitive information, such as card details and security codes, which is collected and used to make illicit withdrawals.

The bank is working closely with the Australian Federal Police’s High Tech Crime Centre to identify the perpetrators and close down websites and phone numbers responsible for such scams.

The CBA says signs of a phishing scam include:

  • Email requests for private information or to collect prizes/rewards.
  • Poor grammar and punctuation.
  • Non-Australian voice recordings.
  • Unusual or unrecognisable email or phone details.
  • Embedded web links/email address “click throughs”.

According to Fitzgerald, “the bottom line for consumers is to remember that banks do not generally contact customers seeking personal information such as their account number, PIN or three-digit CCV number.

"If a CBA customer receives a call or SMS from someone purporting to be a financial services organisation requesting such information, they should contact the bank’s customer service number on 13 2221.”



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