Staying safe from impersonation scams

According to Scamwatch, opens in new window, Australians have reported losses of over $397 million to scams so far in 2023 (as at 10 November).

We’ve partnered with the ACCC’s National Anti-Scam Centre, opens in new window to support Scams Awareness Week (27 November to 1 December 2023), with impersonation scams being the theme. According to Scamwatch, approximately 80% of scams involved some form of impersonation of a legitimate entity.

This year, we’re aiming to reduce the impact of scams on Australians, by helping them identify and avoid scam activity.

How to identify a scam

You can detect the red flags of a scam. Here’s what to look out for:

  • A person or message urging you to act quickly, whether it’s a threat to make an urgent payment, upfront payments, or a limited opportunity too good to miss.
  • A person or message asking you to update or provide your personal details, such as name, date of birth, address, banking details or passwords, or asking to remotely access your device.
  • Any payment method request via unsecure or unusual methods, such as cryptocurrencies, gift cards, or via an overseas money remitting service.
  • A person or suspicious message claiming they have new contact details, or asking for a payment to new bank account details.
  • Anyone offering unsolicited financial or investment advice or claiming you can make fast or guaranteed money with little to no risk.
  • A request to move your money to “keep it safe”.

Bank impersonation scams

Impersonation scams involving banks are common, with Australians reporting losses of $20 million to Scamwatch, opens in new window in 2022 .

A case study:

When NAB customer ‘Sasha’ received a phone call purporting to be from ‘NAB’ expressing concern about an ‘unusual transaction’, she was initially suspicious.

The caller reassured Sasha they were from NAB. She was warned her account would be blocked to stop the unusual activity, and that she needed to transfer her money to a ‘safe account’ that she’d be given the details for.

Sasha assumed she was dealing with a NAB representative and followed the scammer’s instructions and transferred all her savings – a total of $17,436 – to another account the scammer had created.

It was only after the call ended, and Sasha noticed her bank account hadn’t been blocked as the scammer said it would be, that she began to have doubts.

Thankfully Sasha acted on her doubts and called NAB’s Fraud team, where she got through to Jenny.

“As Sasha acted on her concerns so quickly, we were able to stop the transfer of funds to the scammer’s account, and she was able to get her money back,” said Jenny. “But it’s important to note this isn’t always possible depending on the nature or sophistication of the scam. We acted immediately to investigate.”

You can learn more about bank impersonation scam calls, or read other case studies and see how NAB is raising awareness about scam, opens in new windows.

NAB may need to legitimately contact you

Our Fraud team may need to get in touch with you if we’re concerned about your account, so it’s important to understand what we will and won’t ask. 

We’ll never ask you to: 

  • provide your one-time code for authorising transactions 
  •  transfer money to another account to keep it safe (it’s safe where it is) 
  • give us remote access to your devices 
  • provide personal information such as driver’s licence details. 

We may ask you to: 

  • provide your full legal name 
  • explain or confirm the details of a payment
  • provide more details about the person you’re sending funds to and how you communicate with them. 

These questions are designed to help us understand the likelihood of you being involved in a scam or fraud, so that we can protect your account.

If you’re a NAB customer and believe you may have fallen victim to a scam, please report it to us immediately.

Helpful resources

These organisations can provide you with the information, resources and tools you need to protect yourself from scams.

  • The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), opens in new window brings cyber security capabilities from across the Australian Government together into a single location. It’s the hub for private and public-sector collaboration and information-sharing to combat cyber security threats.

  • ReportCyber, opens in new window is a secure reporting and referral service for cyber-crime and online incidents which may be in breach of Australian law. The ReportCyber website provides a cyber-crime reporting mechanism as well as helpful information about cyber-crime.

  • Scamwatch, opens in new window provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams using publications, videos and other online resources.

  • The Office of the eSafety Commissioner, opens in new window provides online safety education for Australian children and young people, as well as a complaints service for young Australians who experience serious cyberbullying and address illegal online content.

  • The Attorney-General’s Department website, opens in new window provides helpful information and resources about your rights and protections about identity security, freedom of information and cyber security. The Department has developed a range of resources to assist people to protect their identity and recover from the effects of identity crime.

  • IDCARE, opens in new window is Australia and New Zealand's not-for-profit counselling and support service set up to assist Australians impacted by identity theft and cyber-related crimes.

    IDCARE can assist NAB customers to navigate through the process when identity details or credentials have been compromised through fraud or scams. IDCARE is a free service for all Australians.

Learn more about protecting yourself from scam

Contact us

Email us

If you receive a suspicious email message, report it immediately.

Text us

If you receive a suspicious text message, report it immediately.
047 NAB 0003

0476 220 003

Terms and Conditions