Impersonation scams to be aware of

Be aware of scammers impersonating well-known organisations, including Heritage Bank.

2 June 2021

An increasing number of Australians are being targeted by scammers impersonating well-known organisations, including Heritage Bank.  They often provide a fake but credible story to gain access to your personal information and steal your funds. Here are a few scams to be on the lookout for. 

Cold calls, emails and text messages

You may receive an unsolicited phone call, email or text message from someone claiming to be from Heritage Bank, ‘your bank’ or another well-known organisation like Telstra, NBN, Microsoft, ATO, Amazon or the police.  They may suggest there is a problem with your account or to confirm a purchase or your details. They may ask you to provide personal information over the phone, click on a website link or attachment, or request remote access to your computer.

Superannuation scams

You may receive a cold call, email or text message from someone pretending to be financial advisers, work Heritage, or be from ‘your bank’. They may encourage you to transfer your superannuation into a new self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF), often with the promise of high returns. The super balances are instead transferred to bank accounts controlled by scammers.

Fake advertisements and news articles

Australia Security and Investments Commission (ASIC) has reported an increase in scammers using fake advertisements and news articles via social media. They impersonate real news outlets such as Forbes Business Magazine, ABC News, Sunrise and The Project.  They often disguise themselves as news articles or advertisements promoting investment opportunities like crypto-assets (or crypto-currency) and contracts for difference (CFD) trading. They may also state the investment is approved by ASIC or include the ASIC logo. 

If people click on these advertisements, they are directed to a site that is not linked with the impersonated publication. Then they are asked for their name and contact details and contacted by the scammer asking for them to transfer funds for investment with the promise of high returns.  

Visit ASIC’s Moneysmart website for more information on investment scams. 

Security tips

  • ALWAYS verify who you are dealing with before sharing your personal details or sensitive information. 
  • Under NO circumstances withdraw or transfer funds from your account based on information from a cold call, email or text message.
  • If you are cold called by someone, requesting your personal details, asking you to transfer money, or requesting remote access to your computer, HANG UP  or say "I'll need to get back to you" and hang up – even if they mention a well-known company.
  • DO NOT engage in conversation or provide any personal or sensitive information.
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails and text messages containing links or attachments. While Heritage may send information, or confirm receipt of items, by email, we will NEVER send an email that requests you to share personal security details such as your PIN, CCV number, internet banking passwords or credit card details. Heritage emails may contain links, however these will never lead you to a website that requires you to input personal details. You should always be able to see the legitimate destination within the link.
  • ALWAYS check the authenticity of any unsolicited call, email or message.  You can confirm if the communication is genuine by calling Heritage Bank or the organisation mentioned directly. Do not use the phone number or contact details provided by the person making the call.  If it is a scam, the number provided may direct the call back to the scammer.

If you have provided sensitive information such as your bank account details, it’s very important you call us immediately on 13 14 22 and change ALL your Heritage Online passwords. If a scammer has accessed your computer remotely you should have your computer professionally cleaned by a reputable technician to ensure there is no malware on your system.

More online security tips from Heritage are available here.