Scammers are getting extremely sophisticated in their attempts to get your money and personal information. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Scams are attempts by criminals to purposefully and maliciously mislead you in order to get your money. Everyone is a potential target because scammers do not discriminate, and will target people of any gender, age-group or socio-economic background.

ANZ email scam: Disguised to look like it has been sent from an official ANZ email and advises customers their “internet banking access has been temporarily locked”.


It is reported that an elaborate new email scam has been used to give criminals access to online banking accounts, via inbox messages being sent around the country.

These emails mirror the official ANZ online banking website, fooling unsuspecting victims who hand over their username, password and answers to secret questions. They do this in circumstances where they have no idea they are being scammed.

Victims are first sent an email using the display name of “ANZ” with the subject reading: “Successful BPAY Payment Advice”. The email elaborates that a successful BPAY payment has been made, with even a customer code and payment date given. Customers are then told that $2542.75 has been taken out of their account, with a link to view the transaction history at the end of the email. If a victim is persuaded enough to click the link, it takes them to an ANZ login page that looks legitimate. They are then prompted to login using their username and password. Once they do this, they are then redirected to another page which simulates that their account has been blocked. The user then must answer three of their secret questions, to find that they are continuously told their answers are incorrect.

Email security company MailGuard first discovered the scam, which it said has been designed to break into bank accounts. “By typing in your account number and password, you’re handing this sensitive account information to cybercriminals,” a representative from the company explained. “If you also tell the scammers details of your security questions and answers, it allows them to attempt other fraudulent actions, such as calling them back and trying to access your accounts.”

MailGuard said the scam goes beyond traditional ‘brandjacking’ which simply replicates official landing pages by including the security questions. “This only adds on to the sense of legitimacy evoked by the email as updates on account safety is a common notification expected of such a well-established bank,” MailGuard explained. All this serves to elicit a more confident response from recipients who think they are, in fact, making their accounts more secure by clicking on the provided link and entering their confidential login details.”

ANZ said it would never send an email asking for account details and offered the following advice:

  • Call out anything suspicious relating to your ANZ banking by reporting it to them and report wider concerns to Scamwatch.
  • Type website addresses into your browser’s address bar rather than clicking on any links that you’ve been sent.


A scam is designed to obtain something of value through fraudulent means, scams target all Australians.


In 2017, $95,928,622 was lost in Australia due to scams.

Phone calls made up 40.3% of the delivery methods. While the age most targeted were people over the age of 65.


  • Attempts to gain your personal information
  • Buying or selling products or services
  • Dating and romance
  • Fake charities
  • Fake money-making opportunities
  • Offering employment
  • Threats and extortion
  • Get rich quick schemes
  • Unexpected winnings


  • Choose your password carefully
  • Know the business your dealing with
  • Do not open suspicious pop-up windows, texts or emails
  • Be aware of any requests for your details or money
  • Be alert to the fact that scams exist


How does the criminal law address those found to be engaging in fraudulent conduct?

Section 192E of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) makes it a criminal offence for a person to, by any deception, dishonestly obtain property belonging to another, or obtain any financial advantage or cause any financial disadvantage. The maximum penalty for this is 10 years’ imprisonment, if dealt with on indictment. This is the case even when the person is willing to pay for the property. This section covers most conduct falling under the category of ‘fraud’.

Matters such as this may be dealt with in the Local Court if the amount that is the subject of the financial advantage does not exceed $100,000, if the Magistrate considers it appropriate, and if the Accused consents. General deterrence is a principle of great importance when considering how one should be sentenced for such an offence. Other relevant factors include: the amount of money involved, the length of time the fraud lasted, whether the offender was in a position of trust, how sophisticated the method to defraud was, and the motive (which is almost always found to be financial gain).

For more on this offence, check out our page here.

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