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Commonwealth Bank warns consumers to be on alert for new phone, sms and email scams

Sydney: 3 June, 2009: The Commonwealth Bank is asking consumers to remain on alert following a new round of scams which are now targeting people via telephone and SMS (short message service).

“Today we have seen the emergence of telephone ‘vishing’ and SMS ‘smishing’ which is a new process where a person is actively contacted via the phone or SMS asking for personal account information and details,” said Commonwealth Bank spokesman, Bryan Fitzgerald.

“Like email phishing, these telephone and SMS scams are designed to extract financial account numbers, passwords, credit card details and information that can be used to access customer accounts and withdraw funds.”

The Bank is currently working very closely with the Australian Federal Police’s High-Tech Crime Centre to identify the perpetrators and close down the phone numbers and websites where these attacks are originating from.

“The bottom line for consumers is to remember that banks do not generally contact customers seeking personal information including asking for customer account numbers, pins or 3-digit CCV numbers. If a Commonwealth Bank customer receives a call or SMS from someone purporting to be a financial services organisation requesting such information, they should contact the Bank’s customer service number on 13 2221,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“While many people ignore these scams some may be unsuspecting victims and we suggest that if they do respond, they contact the Bank as a matter of urgency.

Identifying common scams:

  • Email requests for private information or to collect prizes/rewards;
  • Poor grammar and punctuation;
  • Non-Australian voice recordings;
  • Unusual or unrecognisable email or phone details
  • Embedded Web Links/email address ‘click throughs’;

“If consumers receive contact from a financial institution highlighting a problem with an account or an offer that is unusual or too good to be true, then it is most likely a scam and they should contact the institution to confirm authenticity,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

If consumers remain unsure they can email the Commonwealth Bank at or visit

Media contacts:

Steve Batten                                                   Bryan Fitzgerald

Commonwealth Bank                                       Commonwealth Bank

Ph: (02) 9378 2504                                         Ph: (02) 9378 2663

Mob: 0411 080 268                                         Mob: 0414 789 649