‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.’ More accurate words have rarely been spoken when it comes to online scams.
One of the latest scams doing the rounds is for Treasury Bond investments. Treasury Bonds are medium- to long-term debt securities that carry an annual rate of fixed interest, which is paid out semi-annually. Investing in bonds can provide a stable income, and can offer a lower risk, compared to property and shares. Treasury Bonds – legitimate ones, that is – can only be bought on the ASX through licensed ASX brokers.
Treasury Bond investment scams
Over the last few months, emails claiming to be from financial institutions on behalf of the Australian Government have been sent to investors promising Treasury Bonds.
Generally, they look pretty real (although they often contain typos) and mirror the characteristics of the legitimate exchange traded bond units – also known as XTB – listed on the Australian stock exchange.
Offers are almost always made via links in emails, and if you click them, well, that’s where the trouble usually starts. If you share your bank details or transfer money, it’s pretty hard to get it back.
So you think you’ve been scammed?
If you think you’ve been scammed, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, don’t send any more money. Then, report it to your bank. Keep an eye out for any follow-up emails, promising to help get your money back (these are scams too, and they’re getting more and more popular). You should also report it to the police, and to ASIC as well.
Bank with us? Here are a few things to note.
Bank Australia will never send you unsolicited emails asking for information, nor will we ever call, email or text you asking for your PIN or personal banking info. If you receive an email from us asking you to click on a link to log in to your account or verify your details – PLOT TWIST – it’s not us.
How you can stay safe online
Get a text or email from someone you don’t know, asking you to click on a link, send a payment or provide personal info? Don’t do it! It’s also important to stay savvy and don’t over-share on your social media channels, especially your personal details.
Make a habit of checking your statements regularly, and contact us immediately if you notice anything strange or if there are any transactions you don’t recognise.
Most importantly, be aware of scams. It’s highly unlikely someone will contact you out of the blue offering you cheap bonds and shares or free money, and swindling people out of their savings has, sadly, become big business. Check out websites like Scam Watch and the Australian Cyber Security Centre to stay informed.