The holiday season is a busy time of year for Australians. People are shopping for gifts and organising holidays. Unfortunately, it’s also a busy time of year for scammers, so we’ve got some tips below to help you avoid getting caught out.

How to protect yourself from phishing

Telephone, SMS and email phishing are attempts to trick you into providing personal information. These contacts can look or sound very convincing, but it’s important not to be pressured into providing your personal or financial details. If you’re ever unsure about the legitimacy of the request, don’t provide any information and contact the organisation or company back on a number you can find independently (for example, NAB’s contact details are found at the back of your card).

If you've received a call, SMS or email from someone claiming to be from NAB that you are concerned about, report it to hoax@nab.com.au.

If you've provided your personal information or financial details, please call us on 13 22 65 or contact your local branch for assistance.

You can read more about how to keep yourself safe from phishing messages, or watch our video on how to spot a suspicious message.

Online shopping is big business

Our most recent Online Retail Sales Index estimates that Australian consumers have spent around $23.65 billion over the 12 months to October 2017. Online shopping is a great way to get your presents sorted, but be wary as online scammers can set up convincing websites either as a fake retailer or copying a legitimate retailer’s site.

Be cautious if the price is unusually low, as some sites will prey on your desire for a bargain in an attempt to get you to part with your money – with no intention of sending the goods.

Type the address of the site you’re looking for into your browser. Following a link may lead you to a scam website.

Avoid direct money transfers, money orders or international transfers to pay for your goods – if you send money this way, you may not receive the goods, and your money will be gone!

Read more on secure online shopping.

Travel scams

Have you found an unbelievable deal on a flight or hotel accommodation? Scammers are good at creating websites that look genuine and make you believe you’re purchasing a real holiday. Imagine the dampener on your holiday spirit if you arrive at the airport, only to discover that your booking was a scam and your holiday is over before it’s started.

Look out for fake accommodation vouchers and travel clubs offering amazing deals. You don’t want to pay a deposit or upfront costs for a holiday home or hotel which doesn’t exist.

Protect yourself by booking flights and accommodation through a legitimate travel website. You can look up the ABN of a business through the Australian Government Business website. A quick search of the company name on the internet is also a helpful way of getting an indication as to whether it’s a reputable company.

If you’ve purchased a hotel voucher, check with the hotel that you can use the voucher for the holiday period before you make other bookings.

We’re always on the look-out for fraudulent activity, so if you’re travelling overseas, let us know where you’re going.

Imposter charities

Although the holiday period is usually a time of giving, imposter charity websites can unfortunately take advantage of your kindness and compassion.

Be on the lookout for scam charity emails directing you to a website. Scammers use official looking brands and logos to make themselves appear genuine. Don't rely on any phone number or website address given by a cold caller, a door to door collector or an email you have received asking for a donation. If you have doubts, approach the charity organisation directly to offer support, or visit the charity’s own website.

Fraudsters posing as friends

Being surrounded by friends and family is what Christmas is about. No one wants to be alone during the holidays and scammers can take advantage of this. Online scammers have been known to use fake profiles on legitimate social media or dating sites to befriend people or claim to be a long lost friend or relative.

Be wary of someone you meet online who asks for money, personal and/or financial information. Never give your account details and agree to accept and forward on money on behalf of someone else. You don’t know where this money has come from, or what it’s for. You may unintentionally be committing a crime.

Check your privacy settings on social media, limit the amount of personal information you share on the web and be wary of any unusual messages or friend requests.

Visit our security hub for more helpful information on ways to protect yourself, to ensure you have a happy and safe holiday season.

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