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Protect yourself from COVID-19 related scams

The Australian Government is encouraging everyone to be aware of new scams relating to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). While keeping your financial and personal information safe is one of our top priorities, there are some things you can do to minimise risks.

3 types of scams to be aware of

1. Phone scams or ‘Vishing’

  • Be suspicious of unknown or unexpected callers. If you’re unsure, just hang up.
  • Financial institutions will never request remote access to your machine or ask for confidential information such as your PIN, Online Banking password or SMS Code.
  • If you’re unsure, call back on the official number listed on the organisation's website, not on a number the caller provides.

2. SMS scams or ‘Smishing’

  • These often appear to come from an apparently trustworthy source like a government organisation or bank.
  • If you’re unsure, don’t click on any links within the text message, they can lead to false sign in pages and other websites designed to capture your personal information.
  • Do not respond to any suspicious text messages. If you are concerned or have any questions, contact the organisation directly on a trusted number.

3. Email scams or ‘Phishing’

  • These emails may impersonate legitimate businesses or even government agencies and generally have a sense of urgency to entice you to open attachments, click on links or provide information.
  • Attachments or links may contain malicious software. Only open these if you’re 100% certain it’s from a source you can trust.
  • Legitimate organisations will never send you a link directly to their sign-in page or ask you to enter or validate personal information via an email. If you’re unsure don’t click.

Simple ways to protect yourself

1. If you receive a suspicious phone call, SMS or email claiming to be from Westpac, please give us a call on 132 032 or forward it to 0497 132 032 or for investigation then delete.

2. Remember that genuine Westpac emails will not include links to sign in pages, or ask for your personal information, account details, PIN or passwords.

3. Ensure your computer has up-to-date security software.

4. Stay up-to-date on the latest security advice via our dedicated page.

5. Regularly visit the Scamwatch website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Examples of COVID-19 related scams

1. SMS scam

This smishing SMS requests that you update your contact details and provide a link to do so. By clicking the link you will be take to a fake sign in page (a phishing website) which requests your personal banking information. 

2. Email scam

This email implies that Westpac requires action on your behalf. It contains a link taking you to a phishing website which then asks for personal banking information. 

How we’re protecting you

Our Fraud Money Back Guarantee* and Online Banking Security Guarantee^ both ensure you’re reimbursed for any unauthorised transactions (provided that you haven’t contributed to the loss). We also have a 24/7 specialist fraud team who will get in touch if any suspicious transaction are detected. Find out more

Getting back on your feet financially

Explore our resources and tools aimed at helping you recover and get back on track after tough times.

Find out more

Things you should know

Eligibility conditions apply. Westpac customers who wish to utilise these special relief measures or need assistance should contact Westpac Assist on 1800 067 497 or speak with their Relationship Manager.

Interest rates are subject to change. Terms and Conditions and eligibility criteria apply.

*Our Westpac Fraud Money Back Guarantee ensures that you will be reimbursed for any unauthorised card transactions provided that you have not contributed to the loss and contacted Westpac promptly. Refer to your card’s conditions of use for full details, including when you will be liable.

^If your Westpac account is compromised as a result of internet fraud, we guarantee to repay any missing funds, provided you comply with our Online Banking Terms and Conditions.

© Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.