How the scam works:
Banking fees are a bane of everyone’s existence, and it seems like they go up every other day. Therefore if one were to get a phone call advising that a refund was being processed for bank fees that were accidentally overcharged, the surprised recipient would probably be ecstatic.
Unfortunately for some Australian banking customers, the call has resulted not in a refund but in a sad consequence.
This scam involves the crooks contacting their victims stating that they are from the “Australian Banking Association” (a false organization which scammers are counting on customers confusing with the legitimate Australian Bankers’ Association) and that they are making the call to advise the victim of a refund due to them for overcharged fees.
The scammers then ask the customer to go to a post office to receive their “refund” – stated to be in the neighborhood of $5000 to $7000 – and once there they are to call the scammers so they can “process” the refund. At that time they are convinced to send the scammers money via post or Western Union, as a “processing fee” for the refund service.
In several of these cases the victims have been asked to reveal their personal identifying information as well as such questions as who they bank with, for how long, as well as credit card numbers and driver’s license numbers. Luckily the majority of those called have recognized the scam for what it is and have not provided any information (nor sent any money) to the scammers.
How to avoid:
The ABA is advising Aussies to hang up the phone if they receive a call of this type. There have been many scams circulating recently around the ABA and they are advising citizens that they are not performing any sort of banking fee refunds at this time. Even if they were, they would never ask for personal information over the telephone, so this is a huge red flag that the call is not legitimate. The ABA is also urging people to contact them and report if they receive one of these bogus calls.
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