Author: Dave Rowland

Heeding the message of National Consumer Fraud Week

At The Greater, we take the security of our customer information very seriously, especially as the world we live in moves more and more online, and criminals become more and more adept at their craft. But as National Consumer Fraud Week kicks off for 2014, Greater Corporate risk and Security Manager Dave Rowland explains how easy it can be to stop fraud in its tracks. As we turn ever more frequently to online services to help us handle our everyday transactions, we’re blown away by the speed, convenience and choice that is made available to us. Unfortunately, though, the same things which attract us to using platforms such as EFTPOS, Credit Cards, Online Shopping and Digital Wallets also attract the perpetrators of fraud and scams. We’ve all had a phone call or an email telling us that we’ve won some competition which is set to shower us with riches, only, we didn’t actually enter. And most of us these days would have had a similar situation whereby a criminal posing as our bank has contacted us to ask for secure details, despite the fact that banks will never ask for such details via phone or email. So if criminals are becoming bolder than ever in their attempts to defraud us, we need to use more common sense in our approach to our personal security. Thanks to our friends at Scam Watch, the Australian Government Agency responsible for tracking and publicising the latest in consumer fraud, here are five easy tips to help keep our money and our personal information safely under lock and key.

  1. Think twice – if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. This applies to all offers, deals, promotions, no matter how you come in contact with them, be it via phone, SMS, Email, online, or in person.
  2. Find out what other shoppers say – make sure the person that you are dealing with, and their offer, is the real deal. Check comparison websites, online forums, even ask a friend or look for confirmation via an official channel.
  3. Protect your identity – your personal details are private and invaluable; keep them that way and away from scammers. This relates to the online and offline world. Never store online password details, and make sure you refresh your details regularly. Keep all offline personal documentation in a secure place, and be sure to shred before disposing.
  4. Keep your computer secure – Install software that protects your computer from viruses and unwanted programs and make sure it is kept up-to-date.
  5. Only pay via secure payment methods – look for a web address starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol. Never use a wire transfer service to send money to anyone you do not know and trust, and do not share your financial details with anyone.

To discover even more ways you can protect yourself against consumer fraud, and to see what methods The Greater uses to keep your information safe, why not check out the Fraud and Security Page on our website. To make yourself more aware of the latest online and offline scams that the Australian Government is monitoring, be sure to check out the ScamWatch website as well. If you believe you have been an attempted fraud target, you should contact the police and then The Greater immediately on 1300 651 400. Do you have tips of your own to help you avoid fraud? Why not leave them in the comments below? And for all your real-time banking security updates, why not join The Greater’s community on Social Media? Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and join our circle on Google Plus.


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Andrew Bivard

Here is the MedScape article. And another recently published by a highly talented PhD student!