Australians losing millions to romance scams

Australians losing millions to romance scams

ANZ has released a warning to watch out for deception this Valentine’s Day, as Australians are losing millions of dollars to romance scams, with men and Aussies over 55 most likely to be the targets.

The ANZ scams unit, established in mid-2017, conducted 119 investigations into financial fraud. In the first six months alone, they reviewed customer scams amounting to $3.7 million.

Men were found to be the most likely target of romance scams, however women were losing more money to scammers, and “appear to stay involved with the scammers for longer periods”, according to a report by ANZ. There is $2.24 million lost by women to scammers currently under investigation.

The report also found that Australians over the age of 55 were the most vulnerable to romance scams.

ANZ Managing Director of Retail Distribution, Catriona Noble, said that Valentine’s Day is one of the “busiest times for online romance scammers”.

“A friend request on Facebook or a message on a dating site from a stranger might be the start of a romance scam, so it’s absolutely vital to recognise the signs.

“Scammers typically use a false identity to capture your interest and build an emotional connection by revealing personal information, sending gifts or promising to visit – this is commonly known as catfishing.

“Once they’ve gained your trust, they’ll ask for money either directly or more subtly, for example by telling you they have a sick relative who needs money for treatment.

“It’s important to realise that anyone can be a potential target for scammers,” said Ms Noble.

How to protect yourself from a romance scam:

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has provided these top tips for scam protection:

  • Never provide financial details or send funds to someone you’ve met online.
  • Scammers particularly look for money orders, wire transfers or international funds transfer as it’s rare to recover money sent this way.
  • Be alert to things like spelling and grammar mistakes, inconsistencies in their stories and other signs, like a camera never working if you want to Skype each other.
  • Be cautious when sharing personal pictures or videos with prospective partners, especially if you’ve never met them before. Scammers are known to blackmail targets using compromising material.
  • Be very wary if you are moved off a dating website as scammers prefer to correspond through private emails or phone to avoid detection.

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How can I close an ANZ Bank account from overseas?

There are two ways you can close your ANZ Bank account from overseas:

  • Call +64 4 472 7123 (toll charges apply)
  • Send a bank mail request via ANZ internet banking

How do I close my bank account online?

You can usually easily open a bank account online, but you often can’t close it online.

Many banks and credit unions will only let you close an account if you go into a branch or call them on the phone.

However, some banks will let you request to close the account via your internet banking. Check your financial provider’s website for details.

Just remember: If you still have funds in the bank account, transfer them to another account, or withdraw the cash. Also, if you have any payments like direct debits going in or out of the bank account, these will also stop when you close your account.

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You don’t need a bank account to sell on eBay. But if you don’t have a bank account, you must provide either a credit card or debit card.

How can you cash a cheque without a bank account?

You can cash a cheque without a bank account if you visit the bank that issued the cheque. For example, if somebody sends you a cheque from Bank X (as written on the cheque) and you visit Bank X, it’s likely that Bank X will let you cash the cheque – provided the person who wrote the cheque has enough money in their account. Bank X would probably charge you a fee for the service.

How do you deposit change into your bank account?

One way to deposit change into your bank account is to visit a branch. Many lenders will also allow you to deposit your change through one of their ATMs.

How can I wire money to a bank account?

You can wire money to an Australian bank account either through your own bank or by using a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Either way, you’ll need the other person’s name, BSB number and account number. If you use a money transfer company, you might also need to provide the recipient’s address for large payments.

How do you set up a bank account online?

Once you’ve compared bank accounts and found the right one, the process of opening a bank account online is quite simple and can be done in around 10 minutes.

To set up a bank account online, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide an approved form of ID as well as your tax file number (TFN).

If you’re a new customer of the bank, you’ll need to verify your identity and potentially upload documents before you can complete your online application.

Once your ID has been verified and you’ve set up your bank account online, you should receive your bank cards in the mail along with your PIN and any other account details.

Can I link a bank account to Paypal?

Paypal is a safe and convenient way to pay online without the need to share your financial details. You can send and receive money or accept credit and debit cards as a seller using Paypal.

It’s easy to link your bank account to a Paypal account and start making transactions within minutes.

To start, you first need a Paypal account (it’s free to join). When setting up your Paypal account, you will be prompted to link a credit card or bank account (or both if you wish).

PayPal works without a balance; you can use Paypal to shop or send money when your balance is zero.

When your Paypal balance is zero, Paypal will ask you to choose your preferred payment method at the checkout.

This could be either your linked bank account or credit card. Your bank details can be updated if you change banks or credit cards.

Can I open a bank account in another country?

Despite having a bad rap for facilitating tax evasion, it is possible and legal to open a bank account in another country, also known as an ‘offshore account’.

Some people choose to open a bank account in another country to invest overseas, for higher interest-earning potential or to access foreign banking services.

The process for opening an offshore bank account differs depending on the financial institution and country in which you’re opening the account.

Typically, you will need to provide identification such as a passport, a local bank statement and a signed declaration proving the source of the money being used to open your account. Usually, deposits into offshore accounts can be made by international money transfer.

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You don’t need a bank account to send or receive money through PayPal. However, you do need a bank account if you want to withdraw money from your PayPal account.

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Transferring money to another bank is often called a bank transfer, and it can be done a few different ways.

Customers generally need three pieces of information to transfer money to another bank account. Customers need the account name, BSB and account number of the account they wish to transfer money to.

One way of transferring money to another bank account is in a branch with the help of a staff member; they will often give you a receipt as well as confirmation of the transfer.

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Creditors cannot access money in your bank account unless a court order (also known as a ‘garnishee order’) is made to allow creditors to recover debt by taking money from your bank account or salary.

If this happens, the creditor can take money out of your bank account unless you pay the debt in full or make an alternative payment arrangement such as paying in instalments through the court.

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It might sound like a simple enough task, but there are literally hundreds of bank accounts to choose from. And each offer their own banking features and benefits.

A comparison site like RateCity can help you work out what bank account product matches your needs.

Once you’ve made up your mind what you want, it’s advisable to have the following information ready for the application process.

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Different bank accounts offer different features, so it’s best to compare your options to find one that suits you.

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Once your account is open, you’ll be given or sent a debit card that you can use to make purchases and withdraw money from your account.