‘Banks Never Ask That’ quiz helps customers outsmart scammers

Will a bank ever ask you to verify your birthday and social security number? No! A banking quiz seeks to help customers outsmart scammers.

Think you could spot a banking scam? Don’t be so sure.

Many people are falling for fake phone calls, texts, and emails that appear to come from their bank. Thousands of bank customers have lost millions of dollars to banking scams, so now the nation’s banks are rolling out a new tool to help you spot a scam.

Questions like “did you get good grades in school?” or “have a professional job?” are examples of tricks bank customers have fallen prey to.

“I got a phone call from my bank, and I knew it was my bank because I recognized their phone number,” victim Sarah Robb said.

However, it wasn’t really her bank. It was a scammer who drained Sarah’s checking account within minutes.

In recent months, Corinthia fell for a slick email claiming a problem with her account.

“It began with an email to me, and it said $499 was going to be withdrawn from my account,” Corinthia said.

But it was really a phishing scam and before Corinthia knew it, she was out $1,600.

The American Bankers Association wants to stop this growing fraud.

Next time you get onto your bank’s website or check their phone app, look for a little button that says, “would your bank really ask that?” It will take you to a quiz, and some of those questions just might stump you.

RELATED: IRS sending out letters: About one in three people will get a request for personal information

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The Banks Never Ask That website tests if you can outsmart online scammers.


Qld scammers in court over software scheme

Four Gold Coast scammers ran a cold and heartless enterprise selling ineffective sports betting and investment software, fleecing victims of their savings and superannuation.

Aaron Colin East, his brother Daniel Alan East and Stiofan Ceitinn have admitted to two counts of fraud, while co-accused Theresa Faye Merlehan pleaded guilty to one fraud charge.

The four planned the cold-call scam in a systematic and thorough fashion, crown prosecutor Greg Cummings told a Brisbane District Court sentencing hearing on Monday.

It was a “cold and heartless enterprise” that took from vulnerable people with no prospect of them getting their money back, he said.

The court heard the three men each made up to $300,000 through the scheme.

The scammers compiled an 80-page “spiel book” for sales employees, anticipating questions about the software being sold.

Call centre staff used false names and at times pretended to be in an office in Adelaide that did not exist.

They said potential customers could make $60,000 to $80,000 a year by spending up to 15 minutes a week using software. But this was “complete fiction”, according to the prosecution.

Mr Cummings said there was no altruistic motivation for the fraud. Their desire to make money was at the heart of the scheme.

Some victims lost their superannuation, some their savings and “some if not all all lost their self-esteem”, he said.

The hearing continues.

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