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NAB scam warning: Top 6 to watch out for in 2024

These are the scams “every Australian needs to know about” this year.

The number of scams hitting Aussies has risen exponentially in recent years and technological advances mean they are only going to get more sophisticated, NAB’s fraud and cybersecurity experts have warned.

Customers at the major bank reported an average of 1,500 scams every month in 2023. The vast majority of these (70 per cent) involved impersonation of some kind - whether that be scams impersonating mum or dad, the government or well-known companies.

NAB’s advisory awareness manager, Laura Hartley, said the “scamscape” was constantly changing and AI would take scams to another level in 2024. Here the six scams she says “every Australian needs to know about”.

NAB ATMs
NAB’s experts are urging Aussies to watch out for these emerging scams. (Source: Getty)

Have you fallen victim to a scam? Contact tamika.seeto@yahooinc.com

1. AI voice-impersonation scams

With these scams, a person will receive a phone call from a “loved one” in “distress”. They might claim they’ve been attacked or kidnapped and won’t be released unless the person sends money.

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“They can be created with as little as three seconds of audio taken from a social media post, voicemail or video on a website,” Hartley warned.

“We know they are happening in the UK and US, in particular, and anticipate it’s just a matter of time before these scams head Down Under.”

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2. Term-deposit investment scams

Scammers know many Aussies are currently feeling cost-of-living pressures and have taken advantage of this through term deposit scams offering lucrative returns.

"This version involves criminals impersonating banks or financial companies with fixed-term deposits with impressive rates, glossy brochures, and professional follow up,” Hartley said.

“We had a business bank customer nearly lose $200,000 to a ‘Citibank’ term deposit offering 6.8 per cent.”

3. Remote-access scams using chat

This is where scammers try to convince people to download an app or software, which gives them remote access to their computer. Once they are in, they look for your banking details and other personal information.

“We anticipate criminals will continue to target Australian consumers and businesses with remote-access scams in 2024. That’s because the losses often run into tens of thousands of dollars, compared to other scams where the criminals might net $500 or $1,000,” Hartley said.

Scammers traditionally contact people on the phone, but NAB said it was seeing an emerging trend of web chats.

4. Romance scams

Romance scams often begin on social media or dating apps. While some can go on for months, or even years, others can happen more quickly.

NAB said criminals may ask their target to send compromising, nude images of themselves. They then immediately threaten to make them public unless a ransom is paid.

“These criminals prey on people looking to find love or a hook-up and these scams can have devastating effects, both financial and emotional,” Hartley said.

5. Ticket scams

Music, sport and entertainment events are also a prime opportunity for scammers - with Yahoo Finance previously speaking to an Aussie who was scammed out of $900 when trying to buy Taylor Swift tickets.

NAB said the scams often started on social media, with criminals responding to fans who posted, looking for tickets or listing fake tickets themselves.

In some instances, scammers hack legitimate social media profiles and try selling fake tickets to the person’s friends.

6. QR code phishing scams

QR phishing - also called ‘quishing’ - is where criminals hide malicious links in QR codes. They try to get people to hand over their personal information or download malware.

"QR phishing can appear as emails claiming a package hasn’t been delivered or that there’s a problem with your account, and allows criminals to target thousands of people at once,” Hartley said.

“Criminals can also hide dodgy links in QR codes in places like parking payment stations, restaurant menus and signs for free public wi-fi.”

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