ANZ has encouraged Australians to be vigilant to scams during the busy festive season after observing a 22 per cent increase in scam-related activity over the past year.
The bank noted that scams were most commonly delivered via phone call, text and email, with more than 90 per cent of cyber attacks reported having started with a phishing email.
“This busy time of year can leave Australians more susceptible to scams and cyber attacks,” said ANZ head of customer protection Shaq Johnson.
“Individuals, organisations and businesses are often distracted by holidays, shopping and other end-of-year events.”
According to ANZ, cyber criminals are taking advantage of heightened awareness of scam activity and are contacting customers claiming to be from a bank’s fraud prevention team.
“The scammers try to panic the victim by telling them their account is at risk of fraudulent activity and often share personal information to support their claims before requesting sensitive account details, like internet banking registration information, passwords, card and PIN numbers,” the bank said.
“ANZ will never ask for personal information over the phone. If you’re unsure if a call is legitimate, ask where the call is coming from and call them back on a number listed on official websites.”
ANZ also drew attention to other prominent issues this festive season, including business email compromise, fake parcel delivery, fake e-gift cards, ‘Hey Mum’ scams and travel scams.
“As people prepare for the festive season, it’s important to be cyber safe and cyber resilient,” said Mr Johnson.
“Ensure cyber resiliency plans are up to date and encourage conversations with friends and loved ones — perhaps around the Christmas table — about the evolving scams and cyber environment.”
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.