‘Designed to steal’: 14 million Aussies targeted by new hoax

·2-min read
(Source: Getty, Yahoo Finance screenshot)
(Source: Getty, Yahoo Finance screenshot)

Australians have been hit with a new text scam that is pretending to be from big four bank Westpac.

Several Aussies have reported being sent similar text messages from an unknown number posing as Westpac, a bank with roughly 14 million customers across Australia and New Zealand.

“Westpac: We still didn’t hear from you,” the text message reads.

“To avoid service restrictions please visit [URL] to confirm your mobile device.”

Australians took to Twitter to notify Westpac about the scam text.

“Just FYI, just got this scam text, don't even have a Westpac account,” one user said.

“Same here!” another replied.

It appears the text is sent indiscriminately, regardless of whether or not the recipient is a customer with the major bank.

The text messages also appear to be from multiple different mobile numbers.

Those who click the URL are sent to a dead website.

(Source: Yahoo Finance screenshot)
(Source: Yahoo Finance screenshot)

Westpac appears to have been aware about this scam since at least 25 January.

The major bank is advising customers forward the text to its Hoax Team at 0497 132 032 before promptly deleting the message.

“Thanks for bringing this to our attention. You're right, it does appear to be a scam text designed to steal personal information. Can you please forward this to 0497132032 so our Hoax Team can investigate then delete the text. Hope this helps!” said one reply from Westpac’s Twitter account.

“Convincing as it may look, we'd never ask for personal and banking details through a link. This is a scam message not sent by us, designed for fraudulent use,” another Westpac response said.

“Please send any scam texts claiming to be from Westpac to 0497 132 032.”

Email scams spoofing the big bank can be directed to hoax@westpac.com.au.

Westpac has a web page about the latest scams targeting the bank and its customers, but the most recent SMS scam was from December last year.

Yahoo Finance has reached out to Westpac for further comment.

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