Commonwealth Bank of Australia—phishing email SCAMwatch radar

3 June 2009

SCAMwatch is warning consumers to continue to be wary of unsolicited emails that appear to come from well-known businesses and financial institutions. Scammers trick unsuspecting victims into providing personal details so that they can steal your money or your identity!

We have received numerous reports about consumers receiving unsolicited emails that look like genuine emails from the Commonwealth Bank. A number of different bogus emails, many featuring the bank logo, are doing the rounds. Some are requesting that:

  • consumers participate in an online survey by offering money or prizes
  • update their account details
  • activate their bank or credit card
  • verify unusual transactions or
  • provide account information to qualify for fee refunds or unlock frozen accounts.

In these emails the scammer will request the consumer to provide their credit card/bank details to receive the money or prizes, confirm personal information, or request consumers' account number and PINs to update their information or unlock their account. Instead, the scammer will use these details to steal money or commit identity fraud.

If you receive these emails, or any other unsolicited emails that appear to come from a company, banking institution or agency, do not follow any of the links in the email because this can result in unwanted downloads to your computer.

Remember that reputable companies and banks will never ask you to provide your personal banking details via an email.

For more information about this phishing scams, refer to the security alert issued by Commonwealth Bank.

Warning signs

  • Emails look like genuine emails from the Commonwealth Bank. Some emails even include the Commonwealth Bank logo.
  • Emails will warn of a fake security scare that has led to your account being frozen and will request personal details, including information about your bank accounts, credit cards and PIN or password to unlock your account.
  • You will be asked to verify an unusual transaction, such as one to Africa.
  • Scammers will ask you to provide your personal information or your bank account details so that you can claim a prize or receive money after you have completed their online survey.

Protect yourself

  • Never send your personal, credit card or banking details over the phone in response to unsolicited emails; do not enter your details on any website unless you are certain that the website is genuine.
  • If you receive unsolicited emails, delete them immediately!
  • Don't open any attachments, click on any links or reply to these emails.
  • If in doubt, always contact the business, government agency or bank to verify that the request is genuine. Never rely on contact details provided in unsolicited emails. Instead, find these contact details independently. You should contact the Commonwealth Bank if you are concerned about any suspicious emails you have received from the Commonwealth Bank.
  • If you have provided your banking details as a result of this email, report the incident to your banking institution immediately.
  • Keep your computer updated with the latest anti-virus and anti-spy ware software. Also, use a good firewall.

Report

You can report the matter via the report a scam through the SCAMwatch website.

More information

The Commonwealth Bank provides more information about what you can do to protect your personal information.

Explore SCAMwatch to find out more about phishing scams, learn how you can protect yourself against scammers or to report a scam.

Read more