Types of Scams

Click on the blue '+' to read about different types of scams. If you are concerned about a potential scam, talk to a trusted family member or friend and call BOQ on 1300 55 72 72.   

  • Remote Access Scam
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    Remote access scams often occur when a scammer contacts you pretending to be from a well-known company (e.g. telephone or internet provider, online marketplace, video or music service).

    The scammer will ask you to download remote access software onto your computer or mobile device.  Scammers typically explain this is to , 'find out what the problem is'.  The scammer may also direct you to make payments to the 'company’s account' or perform other funds transfers.

    Warning signs

    • Receiving a call from someone advising they have detected internet or performance issues with your computer or modem.
    • The caller asking you to buy a piece of software or a service to ‘fix’ your computer.
    • Caller asking you for personal details and/or banking or credit card details.

     They may then ask for some or all of the following:

    • Remote access to your computer.
    • You to log into your internet banking.
    • A need to refund your account.
    • You to return the refund that was 'overpaid'.  

    How to protect yourself

    • If you receive a phone call out of the blue about your computer or internet service and remote access is requested – hang up – even if they mention a credible company.  If in doubt, call your internet service provider back on a trusted phone number.
    • Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer or mobile device.
    • Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
    • Make sure your computer is protected with regular updates, anti-virus / anti-malware software, and a firewall. 
    • Research software first and only purchase software from a source that you know and trust.
    • If you have fallen victim to a scam or you receive a lot of unsolicited emails and phone calls consider changing your email address and phone numbers.

    If in doubt, contact BOQ urgently on 1300 55 72 72 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

  • Investment Scam
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    Investment scams try to convince you to invest in schemes and companies, which turn out to be fake. These investments offer opportunities with high returns, low risk and ‘get-rich-quick’ incentives. Recently we've seen a high prevalence of scammers spruiking cryptocurrency and playing on people's fear of missing out (FOMO).

    Warning signs 

    • False advertisements – including fake celebrity endorsements and testimonies.
    • Cold calls from a stockbroker, incentivising your investment.
    • Callers offering to assist you with opening your cryptocurrency wallet, often done so by remote access.
    • Encouragement to invest, including early withdrawal of superannuation.
    • Sense of urgency – claims of a volatile market and possible missed opportunity.
    • Promises of a guaranteed return on investment.

    How to protect yourself

    • If the returns sound too good to be true, they probably are.
    • Avoid giving untrusted 'brokers' remote access to your computer or mobile device.
    • Seek independent financial advice from an registered financial advisor via moneysmart.gov.au.
    • Never provide personal information, bank account details or balances to a third party.

     If in doubt, contact BOQ urgently on 1300 55 72 72 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

  • Threat and Penalty Scam
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    A threat and penalty scam is where the scammer threatens you with harm, arrest or legal action in an attempt to extort funds. These cybercriminals often impersonate legitimate government departments or law enforcement agencies.

    Warning signs

    • Cold calls, automated voice messages, emails or text messages threatening severe action if you do not comply with payment.
    • Threats of deportation, claims of unpaid taxes or overdue bills, threats to expose incriminating online activity, compromised bank accounts or warrants for arrest.
    • Payment requested via international money transfer, gift card, cryptocurrency, direct bank transfer or cash deposit.
    • Requests to keep communications confidential and to lie to friends, family and your bank.

    How to protect yourself

    • End the phone call immediately and do not act upon any requests.
    • Never provide personal information, bank account details or balances to a third party.
    • Contact the relevant agency or department on a trusted number to verify the validity of the call.
    • Stay tuned to local police advice, such as from Queensland Police Service 

    If in doubt, contact BOQ urgently on 1300 55 72 72 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

  • Romance Scam
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    Romance scams seek to form a close bond, playing on emotions and building trust with you in order to steal money or commit financial fraud. 

    In some cases, the scammers may pretend to be:

    • A member of the United Nations deployed in a remote war zone.
    • Working on an oil rig and unable to access a bank.
    • A famous celebrity.

    Warning signs

    • Contact will often occur on dating websites, messenger apps or social media - often via a direct 'private message'.  
    • Rapid declarations of love and affection.
    • Inability to meet in person - scammers often claim to be overseas or travelling or impacted by COVID-19.
    • Claims of financial stress, hardship or emotional trauma.
    • Offers to send you a big box of jewellery but will request funds for 'import taxes'.

    How to protect yourself

    • Never send money to someone you haven’t met in person.
    • Never send personal information such as bank details or personal photos that could be used as blackmail.
    • If you're feeling unsure, speak to a trusted family member or friend.
    • If they apply pressure to you, stop communicating.
    • Be aware of the latest techniques used by scammers, such as "love bombing", from Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) media releases

    If in doubt, contact BOQ urgently on 1300 55 72 72 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). 

  • Business Email Compromise
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    A business email compromise (BEC) is when a cybercriminal breaches or impersonates the email account of an organisation or staff member. The offender impersonates the business or individual in an attempt to trick the recipient of the email into either i) changing the bank details of a known supplier or employee, or ii) making an 'urgent' payment to a new account.

    Warning signs 

    • A change in bank details for the recipient of funds (either via an email request or a modified copy of the supplier's invoice).
    • Inconsistent communication style and unusual use of spelling or grammar.
    • Sense of urgency for the payment to be made.
    • 'Lookalike' email addresses which may, for example, be achieved by swapping an "i" for an "l" (or vice versa).

    How to protect yourself

    • Verify the legitimacy of the email by calling on a trusted phone number.
    • For businesses, have a clear process for change of bank details and if your employees access the network remotely, make use of two factor authentication (2FA)..
    • If in doubt, ask a colleague or your manager for their opinion.
    • Make sure your email accounts and IT networks are kept secure.

    If in doubt, contact BOQ urgently on 1300 55 72 72 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

  • Phishing Scam
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    A phishing scam is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data from you such as bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers. You may be contacted by email, social media, phone call, or text message.

    Scammers pretend to be from a trusted organisation and ‘phish’ for information through text messages and emails. The texts and emails contain malicious links and attachments designed to steal personal and financial information. Once provided, you can become vulnerable to ID takeovers, account hacks, email compromises and/or unauthorised internet banking or card transactions.

    Warning signs

    • The message is sent from a public email domain. Legitimate organisations will typically not send you emails from a free webmail service..
    • The domain name is misspelt.
    • The email is poorly written.
    • It includes suspicious attachments or links.
    • The message creates a sense of urgency.
    • The messages asks you to log into your Internet Banking account.

    How to protect yourself

    • Be cautious and validate all communications you receive.
    • Do not click on any links listed in the correspondence and do not open any attachments.
    • Do not enter personal information in a pop-up screen.
    • Do not respond to the message.
    • Install a phishing filter on your email application and also on your web browser.
    • If you receive a link posing to be from BOQ, report it to us immediately via financialcrimes@boq.com.au.
    • Delete the message, ensuring to take a screen shot if you need to report the URL to BOQ.
    • Always access Internet Banking via www.boq.com.au or the BOQ mobile app.

    If in doubt, contact BOQ urgently on 1300 55 72 72 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

  • Buying and Selling Scam
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    A scammer may pose as a genuine buyer or seller in an attempt to obtain your money or your goods and services. This can occur on fake websites, classified pages or social media sites.  

    Scammers as sellers: The scammer poses as a genuine seller of goods on common for-sale platforms. Goods often include pets, motorised vehicles and electronic goods. Following payment, the person often ceases all contact and does not supply or exchange your goods.

    What to look out for as a buyer

    • Product or service is advertised at below market price.
    • Payment requested via international money transfer, gift card, cryptocurrency, direct bank transfer or cash deposit.
    • Urgent payment requested, prior to arranging delivery.
    • Extra costs requested in advance– insurance, freight, taxes etc.
    • Inability to inspect the goods in person.

    Scammers as buyers: The scammer shows fake interest in your goods and services advertised online and misleads you into believing payment has been made. In some instances, these individuals will provide false records of payment and often request a refund for false overpayments.

    What to look out for as a seller

    • Scammers claim to have paid more than the agreed price and request a refund of the overpaid amount. 
    • Payment made through an escrow service or third party payment provider.
    • Scammers often claim to be located interstate or overseas.
    • Willingness to purchase goods without viewing in person.

    How to protect yourself

    • When purchasing online, try to do so only through well-known online marketplaces.
    • Research the company or seller prior to proceeding with payment.
    • Use more secure payments methods from established financial service providers or your credit card.
    • Refrain from sending funds upfront. If needing to pay in cash or funds transfer, where possible, purchase in person.

    If in doubt, contact BOQ urgently on 1300 55 72 72 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

  • Unexpected Money Scam
    *** Katie - Please remove this text ***

    In an unexpected money scam, a scammer poses as a person or entity that will request an up-front payment from you or your personal information in order for you to claim a large and unexpected sum of money.

    Warning signs

    • Cold calls, emails, text messages, pop-ups or social media accounts claiming you are entitled to an inheritance, lottery winnings or a large sum of funds.
    • A request for up-front payment to claim the funds. This is usually in the form of international money transfer, gift card, cryptocurrency, direct bank transfer or cash deposit.
    • Solicitors, companies or government agencies are commonly impersonated to persuade you into making a payment.

    How to protect yourself

    • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
    • Avoid any requests for up-front payment. Discuss the legitimacy of the claim with a trusted person.
    • Never provide personal information, bank account details or balances to a third party.

    If in doubt, contact BOQ urgently on 1300 55 72 72 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).