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Australia’s Westpac bank cautions against COVID-19 scams, assures security guarantee

WestpacWestpac Group has urged Australians against fraudsters using the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic as a scamming opportunity, including hoax emails, SMSs and phone calls, at a time when citizens are spending much more of their time online.

Josh Nast, Director of Digital Security, Westpac stated, “Scams can happen to anyone, anywhere, but we would encourage Australians to be particularly wary of being caught when they could already be financially vulnerable.

“When significant public events occur, such as elections, terrorism and what we’re seeing with COVID-19, scams can escalate as more people are compelled to react quickly and not think through the consequences.

“All Westpac Group customers are covered by our security guarantee and can feel safe to conduct their banking online through our normal digital channels.

“However, rather than being caught out when scammers are on the rise; prevention is better than cure, so we do urge customers to be safe online.”

Sydney-based Westpac Bank had announced in March its support for customers and the community; and released the COVID-19 Customer Support, a range of measures for personal and business banking customers.

“One of the biggest scams on the rise, for example, is encouraging people to click links to get to a COVID-19 testing station, when in fact those links are just a way to install Malware, short for malicious software, which is often hard to detect, but can be how scammers gain unauthorised access to your network,” Nast apprised. He stated that the bank will never send a link to a ‘sign in’ page or to access online banking directly.

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