Antar Chahine

  By Antar Chahine
   Chief Risk Officer

As 2023 draws to an end and heading into the festive season, we hope you can wind down and enjoy the festive season with your loved ones and those that matter to you the most.

Whatever you decide to do, it’s encouraged that you remain vigilant when it comes to your personal and account information.  Ensure your scam awareness does not go on holidays and you continue to always remain alert as scammers do not wind down over the festive season.  They remain determined to scam victims and continue to evolve and get clever with their tactics. 


A common scam we continue to see trending across the network is ‘Phishing’. Phishing is a source of social engineering where cyber criminals and scammers try to trick you into giving them personal or account information. They send you fraudulent emails or text messages often pretending to be from large organisations you know or trust. They may try to steal your online banking logins, credit card details or passwords. Phishing can result in the loss of information, money, or identity theft. 

Here are some tips that could help you avoid a phishing scam:

  • Look out for phishing emails or SMS containing suspicious links. Closer to the festive season, you could experience an increase in these types of activities. Examples include suspicious texts concerning package delivery issues that encourage you to click on hyperlinks that you may not recognise. Never click on a link from an email or SMS you did not initiate. If applicable, always refer to your original initiated orders and confirmation details, including for deliveries and tracking information.   
  • Never share verification codes with third parties.
  • Always shop at trusted and verified websites.
  • Avoid rushing and making quick decisions. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Always research any investment opportunities, especially if it’s via social media or a cold call. We have also seen an increase in paid Google Ads or searches that may appear like genuine investments but could in fact be scams.
  • If you’re unsure about something, talk to an independent specialist, a trusted family member or friend about the possible red flags.
  • And finally, never click on or call the number provided in a pop-up message window on your screen while you're online. These pop-ups often impersonate trusted software companies, warning you of urgent computer issues and providing a phone number for assistance. If you follow their instructions, it grants the scammer remote access and control over your device. They might even falsely claim to be collaborating with your bank to secure your accounts.

For additional security, consider Second Factor Authentication

For an additional layer of protection, we encourage you to consider adding Second Factor Authentication. This adds another layer of security verification when you log onto your accounts. At Qudos Bank, we recently changed the layout where the 6-digit verification code appears when you are sent an SMS to minimise risk of the code being seen by a third-party.

Below are some key tips in managing Second Factor Authentication:

  • Never share your Second Factor Authentication code with a third party.
  • If you received an authentication code you did not request, contact Qudos Bank immediately as a third party may be attempting to access your accounts.
  • Always read the message associated with Second Factor Authentication code to understand the action the code is authorising.
  • Check that the verification code you’re receiving is genuine. Never trust a code sent by an unfamiliar number.

Additional tips to help keep you safe

  • Use PayID where possible to verify the name on the receiving account prior to payment.
  • Limit use of Public Wi-Fi, especially for banking.
  • Always verbally verify new payee account details.
  • Set up strong passwords on all devices and accounts.
  • Never save your passwords or PINs to your device and do not share them with others, even family members.
  • Keep your contact details up to date – it’s very important as we may contact you if something doesn’t look right.
  • When in doubt or you have concerns about your accounts or transactions, contact us immediately.

Stay scam aware

On a final note, we want to encourage you, our customers, to share the tips we’ve outlined in this article with your loved ones. Scams don’t discriminate and can impact people of any age. This is an important reminder that keeping yourself informed could help prevent you from falling victim to a scam.

Stay safe this coming festive and holiday season, always do your thorough independent research, and visit our Fraud & Security hub if you want to access additional resources.

Our Fraud team are available to assist from Monday-Friday 7am-7pm and Saturday 9am-5pm (AEST).

You can reach them by calling 1300 747 747 and selecting Option 4 and Option 3.

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