Security Alerts

Beware – “Survey” Phishing Email

Customs Bank would like to once again advise its members of another phishing scam. It is a phishing email targeting financial institutions to click on a link to complete a survey.

We would like to remind you to NEVER click links in emails, always enter the website via typing in the address in the address bar.

View a copy of the email

The Customs Bank further recommends that you ensure that your security features (spyware, antivirus & firewall) on your computer are up to date.

The following actions should be taken if you suspect you have received the hoax emails:

1. Treat the email with suspicion
If you receive a hoax email, delete the email immediately. Do not click on any links and do not open any attachments.

2. Report the incident
Contact Customs Bank on 131 728 as soon as possible to report the suspicious email.

3. Scan your computer for viruses
Many hoax emails contain viruses or Trojan Horses (key logger), which are downloaded to your computer when you open any attachments or select any included links. If you have clicked on any items within the email, run a complete virus check on your computer.

4. Reset your Internet Banking password
After scanning your computer and ensuring it is free of viruses or Trojans, reset your Internet Banking password online.

Security Alerts Archive

Protect your Finances

How You Can Better Protect Your Finances

It doesn’t take much effort to protect your finances. Following a few simple steps will help ensure that you protect your privacy, your funds are safe, and others can’t transact on your accounts.

Our Commitment to Your Security and Privacy

Customs Bank takes the protection and security of your information, transaction data and privacy seriously, we undertake a wide range of security measures, so you can be assured that your finances are safeguarded and protected.

How You Can Help

The protection of your finances is a partnership between us (as the provider of the services to you) and you (as the user of these services). It is therefore important that you too take some simple steps to protect your personal information and financial transactions.

Read Our Security Tips

  • Report lost or stolen cards immediately to Customs Bank on 131 728 or if after hours call the Visa hotline on 1800 224 004.
  • Sign your card on the signature panel as soon as you receive it.
  • Protect your cards as if they were cash always keep them in a secure place.
  • Ensure that your get your card back after every purchase.
  • Always check sales vouchers for the correct purchase amount before you sign them, and keep copies of your vouchers and ATM receipts.
  • Always check your billing statement and verify the amounts of your purchases. Report any unauthorised transactions to Customs Bank immediately on 131 728
  • Destroy all old, cancelled or expired cards.
  • When destroying your old card, be sure to cut vertically through the magnetic strip, before disposing it.
  • Don’t lend your card to anyone. You are responsible for its use.
  • Write down the toll free numbers and your card numbers and keep them where you can find them so you know whom to call in case they are lost or stolen.
  • Photocopy the contents of your wallet. Do both sides of credit cards, drivers licence, passport etc. This way you will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
  • In the case of a stolen card, file a Customs report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one)

  • Never record your PIN on your card or on anything that you usually keep with or near your card, memorise it. Also never use your PIN as a password.
  • Destroy any notification we send you containing PIN or passwords.
  • When selecting a PIN, do not choose numbers and letters that can be easily identified or associated with you (such as initials, phone numbers, date of birth etc.)
  • Try not to use the same PIN and password for every service.
  • Never disclose your PIN to anyone. No one from a financial institution, the Customs, or a merchant should ask for your PIN.

  • Be mindful of your surroundings. If the machine is poorly lit or in a secluded area, use another ATM.
  • Have your card ready to avoid having to go through your purse or wallet.
  • Make sure that no one nearby can view your PIN or transaction amount.
  • Be discreet when withdrawing cash at an ATM.
  • After completing an ATM transaction, remember to take your card and transaction record do not leave your receipt behind. Check it against your monthly statements.
  • If your card becomes stuck inside an ATM machine, be suspicious of anyone offering their help, even if they appear to be a bank security officer. Do not accept help from strangers.

  • If you receive a call from anyone purporting to be Customs Bank staff requesting your PIN or password, be suspicious as the Customs Bank will never call you to ask for these.
  • Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics from telemarketers, especially if the sale must be completed immediately.
  • Ask questions. The fewer questions a telemarketer can answer the less likely that he or she is calling from a legitimate business.
  • Do not give your account details over the phone unless you initiated the call.
  • Tear or shred personal documents before you throw them away.
  • Notify Customs Bank immediately if you change your address.
  • Make sure your mailbox is secure, and promptly remove delivered mail.
  • Call the Post Office immediately if you are not receiving your mail.
  • If you are told of a forwarding address placed on your mail without your knowledge, go to the Post Office to check the signature and cancel the order.

  • Always store your cheque book in a secure place and notify Customs Bank immediately on 131 728 if your cheque book has been lost or stolen.
  • Never provide anyone with a blank cheque (signed or unsigned) or allow others to use your cheque book.
  • Destroy all cancelled cheques.
  • Do not use pencil to write your cheques. Use a pen (black or blue) to write cheques and make sure you don’t leave any blank spaces that would allow someone to add extra words or figures.
  • If you need to make a cheque payable with initials ensure that you place a full stop between the initials e. g. A.B.Smith
  • Never post date cheques.
  • When posting cheques in the mail , cross the cheque ‘Not Negotiable’ and where possible, send it in a plain envelope not a window faced envelope.

When you access the Internet through email or the World Wide Web, it’s important that you safeguard your personal information. All users of the Internet have a responsibility to protect themselves against exposure to the different risks associated when using the Internet.

Below are some simple actions you can take to protect your information and increase your own security when banking online.

Using Internet Banking

  • Always log in directly via our site from your browser.
  • Check for a locked padlock symbol. This indicates that it is secure to use.
  • Never accept links or redirections from other websites for the purpose of logging into the Internet Banking website.
  • Never click on an email that asks for your personal banking information, and beware of phishing emails. These emails take on many forms, but the majority appear to falsely come from financial institutions and are designed to lure recipients into divulging account numbers and passwords.
  • Beware of any windows that ‘pop up’ during an Internet banking session and be very suspicious if it directs you to another website which then requests your account details or password.
  • Register for Verified by Visa. Its added password protection measure increases the safety of online transactions.
  • When performing financial transactions online, never leave your computer unattended while the session is still active.
  • Be careful about using Internet Banking from other PC’s, such as those at some Internet cafés, which may not have up-to-date virus protection installed.
  • Always log off when you are finished using Internet Banking to avoid others accessing your account details.
  • Look after your account details if you save or print them after electronically accessing them from Internet Banking. Keep this information in a safe and secure place or destroy it once you have finished with it.

Protecting your Internet Banking Password

  • Choose a password that you will remember, but cannot be easily guessed. Ideally your selected password will include some numbers as well as letters.
  • Change your password regularly. If you ever believe someone may know your password then change it immediately.
  • Never write your password down, store it on your computer and/or mobile device or utilise any functionality offered that will automatically fill the password field. Passwords should be committed to memory.
  • Do not disclose your password to anyone else, not even family members or friends. Customs Bank staff will never ask you for your password.
  • Delete immediately any email requests for your password that claim to be from Customs Bank. Customs Bank will never request this information from you.

Protecting your privacy

  • Install anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software on your computer. To get the most benefit from this software, make sure to always keep it updated.
  • Never access the Internet without anti-virus, anti-spyware and personal firewall systems switched on to protect your information.
  • Avoid opening, running, installing or using programs you have obtained from a person or organization that you do not know you can trust.
  • Scan new programs for viruses before opening, running, installing or using them.
  • Avoid using shared computers at public places, such as Internet cafés, to conduct your Internet banking.

Preventing Hoaxes and Scams

  • Be aware of email, Internet and telephone hoaxes and scams. If you are suspicious or think you have received a “scam”, call Customs Bank Assistance Centre on 131 728
  • Do not respond to any email or telephone call requesting personal information, even if the email and call appears to have come from Customs Bank. Customs Bank will never ask you to disclose your personal details in this way.
  • Ensure you apply the latest security updates to your computer. Suppliers release the security updates (known as ‘patches’) and can usually be downloaded for free.
  • Always use Customs Bank Internet Banking in an environment that you can trust. Always practice caution when using computers in public places, such as Internet Cafes, hotels and airports. Be sure to always log-off from Internet Banking before leaving the terminal.
  • When accessing Internet Banking, use the computer keyboard to enter into your browser rather than from a ‘drop-down’ menu selection.

Common Types of Fraud

Every day in Australia, scammers and fraudsters are attempting to trick and scam people out of their hard-earned money. The Customs Bank is committed to keeping you informed of the latest frauds and scams. When a scam comes calling – Delete it, Destroy it or Hang up.

Customer education is our number one priority. Why? Because knowlegde is one of the most effective forms of fraud prevention.

Phishing is a scam where criminals “fish” for your personal details by using hoax emails claiming to be from financial institutions or legitimate businesses. These emails are designed to lure recipients into divulging personal data such as bank account numbers and passwords by your attempt to log-on. Links within these fraudulent emails may also take you to fake or ghost websites which are designed to fool customers. It may look like an authentic website, with logos and a homepage, but it is, in fact another way criminals try to steal your personal information. Other times the phisher entices victims to reveal personal information by telling them they have won a special prize or earned an exciting reward.

Here are some red-flags to look out for in hoax emails

  • Asks you to provide personal information such as your bank account number, and account password, credit card number, PIN number or mother’s maiden name
  • Does not address you by your name because they are sent out in mass to thousands of recipients
  • No confirmation of the company that does business with you, such as referencing a partial account number
  • Warns that your account will be shut down unless you reconfirm your financial information
  • Warns that you’ve been a victim of fraud
  • Typing errors and grammatical mistakes, even if they include the bank’s registered logo

Here are some tips to follow

  • Never provide personal details including customer ID or passwords, in response to any email. And never share your password with anyone.
  • Never click on a link or attachment in an email which supposedly sends you to a bank’s website. Only access your bank’s Internet banking log-on page by typing the address into your browser.
  • Be wary of any email from someone you do not know or trust. Delete without opening any emails that you think are suspicious.
  • Install software that will filter spam email or use an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that will filter spam prior to delivery at your Inbox. Spam filters are often included in anti-virus software.

If you have received a hoax email requesting financial information or any other personal details

1. Treat the email with suspicion
If you receive a hoax email, delete the email immediately. Do not click on any links and do not open any attachments.

2. Report the incident
Contact Customs Bank on 131 728 as soon as possible to report the suspicious email.

3. Scan your computer for viruses
Many hoax emails contain viruses or Trojan Horses (key logger), which are downloaded to your computer when you open any attachments or select any included links. If you have clicked on any items within the email, run a complete virus check on your computer.

4. Reset your Internet Banking password
After scanning your computer and ensuring it is free of viruses or Trojans, reset your Internet Banking password by calling Customs Bank on 131 728.

Call from Customs Bank

You might get a call from someone posing as a representative from your financial institution, asking you to provide your account or personal information. If you do receive a call such as this, treat it as suspicious and if need be verify the representative actually exists by calling them back on a legitimate number.

Telemarketing fraud

Don’t be fooled by telemarketers informing you of get rich quick opportunities. The only thing you’ll do quickly is lose money. Most will tell you to act now and to send money for more information. Sadly that information never comes. The best defence is to turn them down right away.

Holiday scams

Be wary of calls from individuals awarding you prizes such as holidays. More often than not, these calls are scams. At first it seems like a great deal, but it usually involves being asked to provide a credit card deposit. When unsuspecting victims give in, the holiday is over before it even began.

Prize offers

Try to avoid tempting prize offers that come in the mail informing you that you’ve won a prize. Unsuspecting victims are told to call a 900 number and when on the line all of a sudden they are asked to pay an additional fee for larger prizes.


Scam artists will call to request contributions to charitable causes. More often than not, these contributions end up benefiting no one but the scam artist.

One example is the Asian tsunami scam

Unfortunately, these tragic events create a way for thieves to take money from well-meaning people. Always ask them for the name of the organization they are representing and a contact number. Call the organization directly before giving money to anyone.

Protect yourself against phone fraud by staying informed and alert

Here are some tips to follow:

  • DO NOT believe that everyone calling with an exciting promotion or investment opportunity is trustworthy, especially if you do not know the caller or the company.
  • DO NOT invest or purchase a product or service without carefully checking out the product, service or company.
  • DO NOT be afraid to request further documentation from the caller so that you can validate the company.
  • DO NOT be fooled by the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low cost purchase.
  • DO NOT be pressured to send money to take advantage of a special offer or deal.
  • DO NOTdisclose any information about your finances or bank details
  • DO NOT be afraid to hang up the phone.

Always treat unsolicited mail with suspicion. Mail fraud can take on several forms, from official and legitimate-looking letters to offers that seem too good to be true. Never send your personal information through the mail, without first verifying that the source requesting it is legitimate.

Examples of Mail Fraud

Please be aware of scams such as the examples provided below. As a rule of thumb if the offer seems too good to be true then it probably is – be aware.

  • Nigerian Scam – Fraudsters have been sending out letters inviting individuals to participate in a scheme that ultimately turns out to be non-existent. Usually, the letters allege to be from a government official who needs help in distributing millions of dollars out of the country in return for a cut of the money. Recipients of the letters are required to divulge Customs Bank account details and forward money to the fraudsters.
  • Spanish Lottery Scam – Victims of this scam receive a letter advising them they have won a large prize from the “Spanish Lottery’. In order to collect the prize, they must send money before a certain date to a bank account in Spain to cover the cost of traces, bank fees, delivery and insurance costs.
  • Email Employment Scam – Victims of this scam are asked to provide their bank account details to prospective employers with the view to facilitate transfer of funds to overseas parties. In return the victims are compensated by a commission payment. However the funds transferred have been obtained fraudulently. Do not provide your Customs Bank account details to any prospective employer until you are satisfied with the bona fides of that employer and/or you have signed contracts of employment.

‘Card skimming’ is the illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit or ATM card. It is a more direct version of a phishing scam.

The scammers try to steal your details so they can access your accounts. Once scammers have skimmed your card, they can create a fake or ‘cloned’ card with your details on it. The scammer is then able to run up charges on your account.

Card skimming is also a way for scammers to steal your identity (your personal details) and use it to commit identity fraud. By stealing your personal details and account numbers the scammer may be able to borrow money or take out loans in your name.

“PIN capturing” refers to a method of strategically attaching cameras and other imaging devices to ATMs; in order to fraudulently capture the ATM user’s PIN.

What to watch out for

  • A shop assistant takes your card out of your sight in order to process your transaction.
  • You are asked to swipe your card through more than one machine.
  • You see a shop assistant swipe the card through a different machine to the one you used.
  • You notice something suspicious about the card slot on an ATM (e.g. an attached device).
  • You notice unusual or unauthorised transactions on your account or credit card statement.

How to protect yourself

  • Keep your credit card and ATM cards safe. Do not share your personal identity number (PIN) with anyone. Do not keep any written copy of your PIN with the card.
  • Check your bank account and credit card statements when you get them. If you see a transaction you cannot explain, report it to your Customs Bank.
  • Choose passwords that would be difficult for anyone else to guess.

Do your homework

If you are using an ATM, take the time to check that there is nothing suspicious about the machine e.g. is there anything attached to the machine that should not be there.

Ask yourself if you trust the person or trader who you are handing your card over to. If a shop assistant looks like they are going to take your card out of your sight, ask if it is really necessary.


If an ATM looks suspicious, do not use it and alert the ATM owner.
If you are in a shop and the assistant wants to swipe your card out of your sight, or in a second machine, you should ask for your card back straight away and either pay with a cheque or cash, or not make the purchase.

Report them

If you think you have seen a card skimming scam, you should contact the bank, Customs Bank or credit card provider that has been targeted. You should also report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

If you think your card has been skimmed, contact your bank or Customs Bank immediately to report it.

You can also let the authorities know through the report a scam section of SCAMwatch, and warn your family and friends about the scam.

Information sourced from

How to Avoid Identity Theft

Identity fraud is a growing problem for both the Australian and overseas community. Identity fraud involves a perpetrator taking over your identity (using your personal information and/or identity documents) to use or apply for credit and open accounts in your name. The consequences of identity fraud are far reaching and can not only impact upon your financial position, it can damage your personal reputation and credit rating.

How does someone steal an identity?

  • “Dumpster Diving” – Thieves rummage through rubbish bins searching for personal information.
  • Mail theft - Thieves seek out and steal from unattended/unlocked mailboxes.
  • “Inside” sources – A dishonest service provider with access to personal records.
  • Imposters – Someone who fraudulently poses as a representative who has a “legitimate or legal” reason to access a victim’s personal information.
  • Online Data – Thieves access data that consumers share through phone listings, directories, etc.
  • Direct Access to Personal Documents in the home – someone gains legitimate access into a person’s home through household work, babysitting, friends, etc.
  • Purse Wallet Theft – Stolen purses and wallets usually contain plenty of credit cards and personal identification.

Identity Fraud Prevention Hints

  • Secure your credit/debit cards and personal ID documents in a safe place.
  • Destroy any paperwork that contains personal or banking details before throwing them away. This includes old bank statements, credit card bills, utility bills, rate notices.
  • Don’t unnecessarily carry ID documents such as your passport or birth certificate in case they are lost or stolen.
  • Help protect your mail from theft by having a lock on your letterbox.
  • Notify Customs Bank with any changes to your contact address and personal details.
  • Make sure you are careful to whom you provide personal information to. If asked to disclose personal information, satisfy yourself about the security of the information and be very careful when asked to provide information over the phone or Internet.
  • Ensure that your personal computer has installed the latest anti-virus, anti-spyware software and security patches for its operating system. Update your PC security on a regular basis.
  • Customs Bank will never call you and ask you to provide sensitive account information (such as your PIN or passwords). So if you are contacted to reveal this information, it will not be Customs Bank. Report the matter immediately to us by calling 131 728