SUPERANNUATION

Keep your super safe online

You’re working hard to build your super savings for your retirement, so the last thing you want is to be the victim of an online scam. It’s important to know what can happen and what you can do to protect your super.

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FRAUDS AND SCAMS

What to watch out for

We live in a connected world. We use different types of online services, tools, apps and networks to stay connected, to learn, to work, to shop, to travel, just to name a few. However, unless we are careful and use our common sense about what and how we share, we could be giving scammers and cyber criminals access to exactly what they want. What’s more, given the value of Australians’ super savings, you could be a potential target.

What do scammers look for? Mostly personal information that helps them steal identities, compromise accounts or send highly targeted phishing emails. This could include your super account details too, where scammers could try to make withdrawals using your personal information or offer to help you withdraw your super. While we’re committed to helping you protect your super, there are some things you could be doing too. 

Here are some common types of fraud and scams:

  • Phishing – This type of scam may involve emails, phone calls or SMS messages to trick people into providing their personal and/or financial information. For example, they may pose as the ATO, a bank or super fund, asking you to provide secure information or login to a fake website.
  • Illegal early release – If you are contacted by a third party about paying a fee to release your super, it is likely to be a scam. There is no fee to be paid and you don’t need an authorised third party to help with the process. Remember, you can’t touch your super until you retire, except in very limited circumstances. The promotors may then charge you a substantial fee and/or steal all your super.
  • Identity theft – By obtaining your super details, a thief could assume your identity and contact your super fund requesting that your super money be rolled into a fraudulent account.
  • COVID-19 scams – The pandemic has led to many online scams, including phishing emails, SMS messages and phone calls supposedly from government agencies, super funds and other trusted organisations. Watch out for unsolicited phone calls or SMS messages from super funds, which are likely to be fraudulent. We will never call to ask you to make a payment or ask you to share personal or financial information via SMS.
  • Self-managed super fund rollover scams – These are scams targeting Australians to establish self-managed super funds (SMSFs), where they’re cold called or emailed and asked to transfer funds from an existing super account to a new SMSF. The super balances are instead transferred to bank accounts controlled by scammers.

HOW WE PROTECT YOUR SUPER

Your super is safe with us

There are a number of security measures we follow to make sure that your super is safe with us.These include:

  • use of a password to access your super account
  • following security questions and optional password verification processes when answering member calls
  • regular call monitoring to make sure compliance and privacy procedures are followed 
  • accounts monitored for ongoing fraudulent/suspicious activities
  • adhering to strong proof of identification processes when super claims are made.

ONLINE SAFETY TIPS

Tips to keep your super safe

As well as being aware of the types of fraud and scams that exist, here are some tips to help you keep your super, and your life online, safe.

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If you receive any suspicious calls or messages, hang up and/or call the company back using a publicly available number. Watch out for red flags such as a website disappearing, speaking to different people who have the same voice, and changing email addresses and contact details.

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Monitor your super/retirement account regularly. Get into the habit of logging in and checking your account at least once a month to make sure there are no unusual transactions. When you’re done, make sure to log out as well.

Don’t give your personal or financial information to a person, company or website that you don’t know or trust. Be wary of any person or company offering to help you access your super before preservation age.

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Never share information on social media that you wouldn’t want the world to see. If possible avoid sharing personal data like your date of birth, address, middle name, travel plans, pet names, etc. and lock down the privacy settings on your accounts.

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Watch out for suspicious or unsolicited emails, calls and text messages. It's best to ignore them or delete them. Don’t click on any links in, or open files attached to suspicious or unsolicited communications.

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Scammers might try to connect with you by creating fake profiles that impersonate people familiar to you. Therefore, it’s safest to not accept a social network connection until you’re certain you know and trust the person.

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Even if an email seems to come from a company you trust, like your super fund, do your due diligence before clicking a link or calling a number in a text message. To be safe, make contact through the company’s website or use a known, verified phone number. Scammers use masked links and false phone numbers to trick people.

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Be certain of attachments before downloading. If you receive unexpected links or attachments from friends, colleagues or companies, it’s best to verify they actually sent you what you received.

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Use strong passwords for accounts that hold important personal data, like super, banking, email and social media accounts. Plus, change these passwords regularly, and review your privacy settings and permissions for updates. If possible, set up multifactor (or two-factor) authentication for each account.

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Don’t reuse the same username and password across multiple devices, websites and apps. Doing so means if a scammer gets access to one of your accounts, they may be able to access your other accounts, like your super account, as well.

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Avoid using public Wi-Fi hotspots, like the ones at coffee shops, airports, hotels, etc. because they may not be secure. If you do use it, be sure to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or use the mobile network and create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot with your phone.

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Keep your devices (like mobile phones, tablets and computers) safe by making sure the operating systems are up to date, installing anti-virus software and installing apps from official stores like the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Three pieces of paper icon Finally, if you’re receiving mail from us, make sure your postal mailbox is secure to avoid personal mail being stolen. Keep important mail, documents and account statements in a safe place. If you throw them away, remember to tear them up or shred them first.

REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY

Notice anything unusual about your super account? Let us know.

If you notice any unusual or suspicious activity on your account, have reason to suspect someone is trying to access your super savings, or you receive a suspicious phone call or email claiming to be from the Russell Investments Master Trust which you don’t believe is genuine, please call us on 1800 555 667 to report it.

When reporting any unusual or suspicious activity, or suspected fraud, it’s helpful if you can provide any details relating to the incident, such as names of any party involved, times, location, and events associated with the activity or fraud.

MORE INFORMATION

Arm yourself with the right information

For more information about keeping your super safe, refer to these great resources.

  • Run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), SCAMwatch aims to help consumers and small businesses recognise, avoid and report scams, and also has information on where to get help

  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) MoneySmart website has useful information about super scams, how they work and who scammers target, as well as investment scams and how to spot them.

  • eSafety is an independent statutory office supported by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). It has powers relating to cyberbullying, image-based abuse, and illegal and harmful online content.

  • The Australian Cyber Security Centre works to improve cyber security, monitoring cyber threats across the globe, so they can alert Australians early on what to do. They also provide advice and information about how to protect yourself online.

  • IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support service, helping thousands of individuals and organisations reduce the harm they experience from the compromise and misuse of their identity information.

  • Super Guru is a resource of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA). Its aim is to provide superfund members with super-related information and tools.

USEFUL RESOURCES

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