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Newcastle Permanent is committed to keeping your money and identity safe, however it’s important for you to protect yourself too. We’ve made it easy by providing a list of tips which can help protect you from fraud.

If you have a concern relating to your bank statements, you’ve moved, lost or had your personal banking property stolen, please contact us on 13 19 87, or visit your local branch.

Protect your money and identity

  • Check your statements and contact us if you see any unauthorised or suspicious transactions, no matter how small the amount is.
  • Securely dispose of sensitive documents - don't throw your bank documents, bills etc. in the bin. These should be shredded or destroyed.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you put on social networking sites, and limit viewing to just your close friends and family. 
  • Use different passwords, and avoid using passwords like mother’s maiden name, DOB or phone numbers. 
  • Protect yourself by keeping your passwords safe. No one else should know this except you.
  • Never make changes to payee information requested via email without verbal confirmation from a trusted person/party; and
  • Never use the contact details or links provided in the request. Only use contact details from trusted sources such as phone book or company website.
  • Never pre-sign cheques or withdrawal forms.
  • Ensure that any spoiled cheques are destroyed.
  • Cheques should be treated like cash. Keep all cheques secure when not in use.
  • Ensure that a strong bold and consistent font is used.
  • Mark any blank spaces on the cheque with a line to avoid cheque manipulation If cheques are lost or stolen contact us immediately on 13 19 87.
  • Memorise your PIN! 
  • Don’t have your pin number containing personal information – You or your families DOB, the start of your phone number etc. 
  • Sign your cards as soon as you get them, and chop up the old ones (make sure you get the magnetic strip). 
  • We will never call you and request your PIN or password, so don’t tell anyone if they ask! 
  • Don’t let your card out of your sight when completing a purchase.  
  • Using contactless cards such as VISA payWave~ for purchases under $100 can reduce the risk of fraud as the card never leaves your hand during the transaction. 
  • Cover your hand when typing your PIN at an ATM so that no one else can see. 
  • Be discreet anywhere that you withdraw money. 
  • Check an ATM for tampering - check for some obvious signs of tampering at the top of the ATM, near the speakers, the side of the screen, the card reader itself, and the keyboard.

Read our Cards FAQs for more information.

  • Ensure that you have anti-virus protection software on your computer and phone. 
  • Never access Newcastle Permanent Internet Banking from a link in an email and enter personal details. 
  • Use a passcode to protect access to your mobile device and access to your apps. 
  • Only use Wi-Fi hot spots that are reputable and password protected. 
  • Never open attachments or download applications from untrusted sources. 
  • Limit the amount of personal information on your phone. 
  • Never store passwords on your smartphone.

Head over to Online Banking to read more.

Identity theft is when a criminals use your personal information to carry out fraudulent activity, typically for economic gain. They may use your credit card to make purchases online, or go as far as using your name, date of birth and address to open bank accounts, loans and tax returns.

Read more about Identity Theft».

  • Report any loss or theft of documents such as driver’s license, credit card or passport immediately. 
  • Secure your mailbox with a lock and when you move, let us know. 
  • Obtain a copy of your personal credit file (available from Veda) at least every six months to check on the status of your file. 
  • Store your important documents in a safe and secure place. 
  • We will never contact you and ask for your personal details, PIN or password. If this happens offer to ring them back, and report the incident to us. 
  • Investigate the arrival of new cards you didn’t ask for, or bills for goods and services that aren’t yours.

If you think you are a victim of identity crime – contact us immediately on 13 19 87 or visit your local branch and report it to the police.

Spotting a scam

There are more scams out there than we could list. Just keep in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

It is important to be vigilant at all times to avoid falling victim. They often come via spam emails, chain letters or individuals who claim to be a representative of a government department or financial institution. On occasions, scammers approach people at clubs or local markets, with the intent to gain trust until he/she falls for the scam.

To learn more about common scams and how to help protect yourself from fraud, visit Western Union’s Fraud Awareness» website or ACCC’s Scam Watch» website

Often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact. They have even been known to phone their victims or even agree to meet in person. Scammers typically create fake online profiles designed to lure you in. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as military personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad.  

An example
You meet someone online. The “relationship” progresses over time; you email, talk on the phone and trade pictures. You begin to make plans to meet or you may even begin to talk about marriage. As the relationship continues, the requests start to change and they start asking for money to pay for their airfare or help with a visit to a sick uncle.

Read more about Romance Scams».

These are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers. A scammer contacts you out of the blue pretending to be from a legitimate business such as a bank, telephone or internet service provider. You may be contacted by email, social media, phone call, or text message. 

An example
The scammer may say that the bank or organisation is verifying customer records due to a technical error that wiped out customer data. The scammer will then ask you to provide or confirm your personal details so the problem can be fixed.

Also referred to as 'Reclaim Scams', these often try to convince you that you are entitled to a rebate or reimbursement from the government, a bank or trusted organisation.

An example
They will ask you to make a small initial payment to cover 'administration fees' or taxes, in order to claim the amount owed to you.

This scam sends letters or emails which will invite you to participate in a scheme often involving assistance distributing large sums of money (think millions) in return for a cut of the portion. They will normally ask for your bank account details and an ‘advance fee’. 

An example
The scammer will tell you an elaborate fake story about an inheritance coming from a distant relative, all you will have to do is send an administration fee for processing.

These can take many forms. Advertisements such as ‘Work from home for only a few hours each day’, ‘regular income guaranteed’, ‘Earn up to $5,000 a week - for very little effort’ appear in all sort of places: on power poles, newspapers, community notice boards and even email.

An example
Some offers promise rich financial rewards for performing simple tasks, like being a mystery shopper. In some instances funds will be deposited into your account and part of your new job you will then be asked to transfer a portion of that money onto someone else. All you then need to do is complete an evaluation on the service provider.

This scam generally involves a fraudster claiming to be from telecommunications company, call you at home raising a false alarm that you’re at risk of your internet being disconnected immediately, as your computer has been hacked or infected with malware and is threatening that company’s internet infrastructure.

An example
The caller claims that they are able to fix the problem on the spot, however a fee for this service will need to be paid and the person will also need to download software that will allow the caller remote access to their computer.

A fraudster claiming to represent a software provider will call you and advise you that they have detected an illegal download or offer you a free service. The scammer then directs victims to a website which turns out to be malware or ransomware which will infect your computer.

An example
You may receive an email or phone call from the fraudster claiming to be from a software provider advising they can provide a free upgrade to the new operating system, they may also offer to fast track the upgrade if you follow on a link or download an installer program. By doing this you will be taken to a fake website that looks the real deal or if you download the software, your computer will be infected with malware.

Scammers will pose as genuine sellers and post fake ads on classifieds websites, in print classifieds, and may approach you through email or on social media platforms. In order to lure a number of victims in a hurry, the scammer advertises the item at a low price, often much lower than comparable items advertised on the same site.

An example
Replying to an advertisement about purchasing a dog “Free to a good home”. The scammer will lure you in and only make you pay a small fee for transport / vaccination fees. The scammer will receive your payment and you will unfortunately never see the dog.

Here's some more information for you:
» The links provided are to websites controlled or offered by third parties (non-Newcastle Permanent).
~ For more information on Visa payWave, drop into your local branch, visit www.visa.com.au or call 13 19 87.