Picture this - it’s Thursday evening and you’re relaxing in front of the television while scrolling through your social media account absent-mindedly.

All of a sudden your eyes are drawn to the flashing advertisement on the right of your screen telling you you’ve won a Free iPad! You blink twice and look again – it must be true! The message is personally addressed to you and even refers to the supermarket chain you get your groceries from! Without wasting a second, you “click for more info” and then sit back and wait for your shiny new gift to arrive. You’ve even promised your older version iPad to your 8 year old son in anticipation of your brand new latest version device!

Unfortunately, that’s where the excitement ends, because the only thing guaranteed to happen next is one of the following:

Data Capture

After completing all the required entry forms and providing seemingly endless amounts of personal information you receive nothing more than heartache and the added disappointment of knowing you just gave away your only iPad to your child and it cost you your privacy. These scams are designed to capture personal information about you and your friends so that the data can be sold for marketing purposes. There’s not much you can do to “un-do” this one, other than move forward and and keep an eye out for increased spam.

Just Pay Postage

You’ve clicked to receive your Free iPad and your enthusiasm starts to wane when you’re told you need to provide valid credit card details. But relax – it’s just to pay the $4.95 postage charge so that your free iPad can safely make it to your door, right? WRONG! As soon as you provide that credit card number you can expect to see a litany of unrelated and unauthorised charges appearing on your account statement. And no iPad. If this does happen to you, contact our Call Centre straight away on 1300 228 228 for some advice and assistance.

Hidden Virus

After responding to the offer you notice your computer starts doing strange things and weird messages or alerts start to appear. Documents you’ve saved have become corrupted and files have disappeared. You have in fact just inadvertently introduced a virus to your system. Sometimes these infections are designed to install adware and sometimes they are just plain malicious. Either way, you’ll probably need to head to a reputable computer repairer to have your computer cleaned. If this has happened and you notice any unusual or unauthorised iBank transactions in your bcu account, contact our Call Centre immediately on 1300 228 228 and you’ll be put in touch with someone from our Fraud Team to make sure your money is not at risk.

Common Sense Approach

Unfortunately the old adage is mostly correct in these situations – if it sounds too good to be true, it most probably is. Scams and trickery have been around forever and common sense will always win the day. If you’re concerned about anything you’ve seen or done online and you think your credit card or iBank access may be compromised, drop into your bcu branch and speak with our staff or contact our Call Centre on 1300 228 228 for some advice and assistance.

Picture of Emma Lawson who is bcu’s Manager on Fraud.

Author bio: 

Emma Lawson is bcu’s Manager on Fraud. With an extensive knowledge of online banking security, Emma is full of practical tips to help everyday Australian’s stay safer online.

Important information

Banking and Credit products issued by Police & Nurses Limited (BCU) ABN 69 087 651 876 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 240701. Any advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the relevant Product Terms and Condition, before acquiring this product in considering and deciding whether it is right for you. The Target Market Determination (TMD) for products is available on request. Lending criteria, terms & conditions, fees & charges apply.