Your browser is out of date. From Thu 28 April 2022, the Great Southern Bank website will not support your current browser, and you may have a degraded experience or be unable to connect. Update your browser to secure your online experience.


Common scams

Simple ways to spot the warning signs.

Suspect you’re a victim of a scam?

Contact us immediately on 133 282 so we can secure your accounts and assist you further.

Quick links
Remote access scams
Investment scams
Phishing scams
Dating and romance scams
Buying or selling scams
Unexpected winnings scams

Remote access scams

Are when a scammer gains access to your computer, in order to steal your personal information, banking details, and money. Knowing the warning signs is the best way to protect yourself.

How it works

The scammer calls pretending to be from a well-known telco or software company. They will claim there is a problem with your computer or internet, and will 'help you fix it'.

This is followed by a request for remote access to your computer, usually by downloading software or installing an app on your phone.

Remote access scammers use technical language to scare people into following their instructions. They may say your computer is sending error messages or that it’s been hacked.

Once access is granted, the scammer uses it to access to your online banking and your money. They may also steal personal details or ask for a payment for ‘fixing the problem.’

Variations on this scam
  • The caller claims to be from a bank and says there is a problem with your online banking.
Warning signs
  • Unsolicited contact, such as an unexpected call or a computer pop-up.
  • The caller asks for remote access to your computer.
  • You’re asked to download software or install an app.
  • The caller asks you to log on to your online banking or for your bank details.
  • Your computer and internet have been working fine and you’re unaware of any problems.
  • The caller becomes annoyed or angry if you don’t follow their instructions.
How to protect yourself
  • Never share your personal information, credit card or online banking details over the phone unless you made the call, and the phone number came from a trusted source.
  • Hang up on calls where the caller requests remote access to your device.
  • Make sure your computer is protected with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall.
If you’re unsure
  • Hang up and contact the organisation directly to confirm the problem is legitimate.
  • Go to the business’s website to find their contact number, don’t use contact details the caller gives you.
What to do if you’ve been scammed

Investment scams

Been offered an investment opportunity? Has it got guaranteed returns and the tick of approval from your favourite celebrity? It's best to proceed with caution, and learn how to spot an investment scam.

How it works

Investment scammers advertise investment opportunities that promise large pay-outs and returns above the average market rate. However, the aim of the scammer is to take your money and invest it in their own bank account.

Investment scams can be hard to spot as they often have slick websites, professional looking reports and fake trading platforms to convince you the offer is legitimate. They may also use celebrity endorsements and client testimonials to build trust.

Don’t let the celebrity endorsement fool you, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Variations on this scam

Crypto Scams

  • Cryptocurrency scammers often use platforms such as Discord and Telegram to contact people about opportunities to invest in crypto.
  • has a detailed guide on how to avoid crypto scams plus useful tips on investing.
Warning signs
  • Promise of high returns with little to no risk.
  • High-pressure sales tactics such as a limited time or secret offer.
  • You’re given a script or coached on what to say to your bank, accountant or financial advisor.
  • Celebrity or influencer endorsements.
  • The offer seems too good to be true.
How to protect yourself
If you’re unsure
  • Don’t rush the decision, scammers use high-pressure sales tactics to get you to hand over your money quickly.
  • The ACC’s Scamwatch reports that Australians lose more money to investment scams than any other. Their guide on how to spot and avoid investment scams can help you when investing.
What to do if you’ve been scammed

Phishing scams

A sophisticated text message scam has been doing the rounds on Australian mobile phones and prey on our love of online shopping. If you’re waiting for a parcel delivery, here’s what to look out for.

How it works

You receive an email or SMS from what appears to be a legitimate source, such as your bank, mobile or internet provider, or a postal delivery service.

The message includes a link or attachment where you’re asked to confirm your personal or bank details. Another tactic is to claim that a recent payment has failed with a link to a form asking for your card details to make said payment.

These messages are fake. However, scammers often copy company logos, text and colours to make their emails and web pages appear real.

Variations on this scam
Warning signs
  • The message is unsolicited and unexpected.
  • You’re asked to update or verify details that your bank should already have on file.
  • The message doesn’t address you by your proper name.
  • The message has spelling errors, typos or poor grammar.
  • The link’s address (URL) is different to the company’s official website and is requesting details, the company does not normally ask for.
How to protect yourself
  • Never provide your bank details or personal information in response to an unsolicited request.
  • Always navigate to online banking yourself, don’t use links in emails or SMS messages.
  • Delete suspicious messages immediately.
  • You can access Great Southern Bank Online Banking at any time by going to the home page ( and clicking the log on to online banking at the top of the screen.
  • Don’t call any numbers listed in the email or text message, they are likely to be fake.
If you’re unsure
  • Do an internet search for the company and use the contact number on the company’s official website to confirm if the message is legitimate.
  • Type the exact wording of the email or message in a search engine to check for any references to a scam – many scams have been identified this way.
What to do if you’ve been scammed

Dating and romance scams

Dating and romance scams can be especially insidious as they play on our emotions and desire for a happy and loving relationship. Here’s how to avoid getting your heart broken by a scammer.

How it works

The scammer uses dating websites and social media to contact unsuspecting persons looking for a romantic relationship. Their aim is to win trust and to build the relationship to a point where the other person is emotionally invested. This could take several weeks, months, or even a few years.

After gaining trust, they will tell an elaborate story about needing money. They may ask to borrow money or wait until the funds are offered.

Scammers use many compelling reasons to convince you to offer financial help. These include:

  • Medical treatment for themselves or a family member.
  • Financial hardship, such as a failed business or robbery.
  • Threats to their safety.
  • Money to cover flights and travel expenses to come to Australia.

Dating and romance scammers cheat Australians out of millions every year, but are often under-reported. This is mostly due to embarrassment on the part of the victims. However, it’s important to remember these scammers use several psychological tricks to get you to let your guard down.

Variations on this scam
  • Requests for gifts or intimate photos instead of money.
  • Dating and romance scams are often associated with long-distance relationships, however they may live locally and meet you face-to-face.
Warning signs
  • A person professing their love for you after a short period of time.
  • Requests for financial assistance or help to get into Australia.
  • Communication is done via phone or message apps, never video or face-to-face.
  • They make excuses if you ask for a video call or to meet in person.
  • If you send money, they ask for more funds to help them.
  • Desperate messages or threats if you say no.
If you’re unsure
  • Speak to a trusted friend or family member before you send money, they may offer another perspective on the situation.
How to protect yourself
  • Never send money to someone you haven’t met in person.
  • Be wary of sending money overseas as it is very difficult to recover once it’s sent.
  • Don’t ignore the warning signs just because you’ve met them in person.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no. If they threaten to break up with you, they aren’t the one.
What to do if you’ve been scammed
  • Cease all communication with the other person immediately.
  • Report them to the online service provider you met them through.
  • If you have shared online banking passwords or account details, contact us on 133 282 so we can help you further.
  • The experience has caused feelings of depression or anxiety, consider counselling or online resources such as  Lifeline 24/7 crisis support, or Beyond Blue.

Buying and selling scams

Sometimes called classified scams, both buyers and sellers can be approached. Whether you’re looking for a bargain or are selling items you no longer need, here’s what to look out for.

How it works

Scams targeting buyers

Scammers create fake ads offering products or services below market prices. Unfortunately, the product or service doesn't exist. Once the money is transferred, all contact ceases and you end up having paid for goods or services you never receive.

Scams targeting sellers

The scammer contacts the seller and claims they want the item, but they don’t live in your local area. They ask if they can pay via a funds transfer and have the item posted or picked up by another person.

If you agree, the buyer sends a fake transaction record as proof of payment.

Typically, what happens next is:

  • The buyer has accidentally paid more than the agreed price and asks you to refund the difference.
  • The buyer changes their mind and requests a full refund.
  • You send the item, or another person picks it up for the buyer.

After sending the item or issuing a refund you’ll find that the money was never paid into your account.

Variations on this scam
Warning signs

Warning signs for buyers

  • Products or services at very low prices.
  • Items are significantly lower than comparable items.
  • Payment via international money transfers or direct bank transfers.
  • The seller asks for ID such as a driver licence or passport.
  • Reviews have few details or look fake.

Warning signs for sellers

  • The buyer pays more than the agreed price.
  • The buyer sends a transaction record, but the funds have not reached your account.
  • The buyer is willing to buy your item without having viewed it in person.
  • The buyer has already arranged for someone to pick up the item.
  • The buyer lives interstate or overseas and can easily buy similar items locally.
How to protect yourself

When buying items or services

  • Check business or profile reviews before buying.
  • View the product in person where possible.
  • Be wary of requests for ID such as your Driver Licence or Passport. Never provide these details to someone you don’t know.
  • Always use secure payment options.

When selling items or services

  • Check your accounts for payments before processing refunds or sending items.
  • Be wary of overpayments and requests to refund money asap.
  • Ask the buyer to pay cash and to pick the item up in person.
  • Don’t give in to aggressive behaviour or sob stories if you refuse their requests.
What to do if you’ve been scammed
  • Report the individual or business to the online marketplace or classifieds provider.
  • If you have shared personal details or suspect someone has access to your accounts, contact us immediately on 133 282.

Lottery scams (unexpected winnings scams)

Australians lose millions of dollars to scams each year, take a look below to learn more about unexpected winnings scams.

How it works

You’re unexpectedly informed you’ve won money or an extravagant prize such as a car, electronics or an expensive holiday.

The news could be delivered via phone call, email, text or social media message, or a fancy looking letter in the mail.

You don’t remember entering such a competition, but you’re kindly informed that to claim your prize, you need to pay a small fee.

Lottery scammers make money by continually collecting fees from you and stalling the payment of your winnings. They may also ask you to keep your winnings private or confidential, for ‘security reasons’. This is to prevent you from seeking further information or advice from independent sources.

Warning signs
  • To claim your prize, you’re asked to buy a ticket, pay a fee, or a government tax.
  • The fee must be sent via a money transfer service or to a PO Box address.
  • Messages state that the offer is 'legal' or has 'government approval'.
  • You’re asked to supply your bank account details, driver licence or passport.
  • The ACCC’s Scamwatch has examples of real-life lottery scams to help you spot more warning signs.
How to protect yourself
  • Never pay money upfront to receive a prize or winnings.
  • Avoid sending money overseas as once it leaves Australia, it’s difficult to get it back.
  • Never send personal information to a stranger or company you don’t know.
  • Always remember, you can’t win a competition you haven’t entered.
What to do if you’ve been scammed
  • If you have sent money, shared passwords or account details, contact us on 133 282 so we can help you further.

Other types of fraud

Knowledge is power, and knowing how to avoid common scams is one of the best ways to fight fraud.

Visit our Scams Hub

Identity fraud

Tips for keeping your personal details safe.

Card fraud

Simple ways to help protect your cards and your hard-earned cash.

Need assistance?
We’re here to help

Mon - Fri: 8:00am - 7:00pm (AEST)
Sat: 8:00am - 4:00pm (AEST)

Out of hours? Call 1800 648 027
(Overseas? Call +61 2 8299 9534)