Overcharged bank fees scam

18 November 2009

SCAMwatch has been advised that consumers are receiving telephone calls from people purporting to be employees or representatives of consumer organisations and government offices. Most recently the Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) and the NSW Office of Fair Trading have been the target of these scams. SCAMwatch warns you to hang up if you receive such a call.

The scammers claim their organisation is checking whether banks are overcharging their customers and tell you they have found that your bank is overcharging you and owes you thousands of dollars. They may ask you to pay money or to provide your bank account details so they can claim the money back for you from your bank. In some cases they may give you a telephone number to call, but don't be fooled the number is not a legitimate number; more likely it is an overseas call centre number.

CALC has advised SCAMwatch that it is not responsible for these telephone calls and would never call you unsolicited or ask you to send money or give out your bank account details. Likewise, the NSW Office of Fair Trading has advised it has not made any of these calls to consumers.

SCAMwatch reminds consumers that while scammers try to steal money from unsuspecting consumers they are also likely to use any personal details you provide to steal your identity to commit fraud.

Protect yourself

  • NEVER send money or give credit card details to anyone you do not know and trust.
  • Do not give out your personal, credit card, bank account or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and know that the phone number came from a trusted source.
  • If you receive an unsolicited call from your bank or any other organisation, do not provide your personal details—instead ask for their name and a contact number. Check with the organisation in question before calling back.

As well as following these specific tips, find out how to protect yourself from all sorts of other scams.

Report

Visit the report a scam page on SCAMwatch. Financial scams can also be reported to the Australian Investments and Securities Commission.

More information

Explore SCAMwatch to find out more about identity theft and phishing scams. Visit the Consumer Action Law Centre and the NSW Fair Trading Office websites.

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