It’s common to give personal information over the phone or online when dealing with banks, calling the doctor, or getting in touch with your super fund, but it’s important that your information doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
Scams target people from all backgrounds, ages and income levels and can have devastating effects on people and their families. In 2015 alone Australians lost over $299 million to scams, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Scammers and your super
You’ve worked hard to build your retirement savings and being such a valuable asset, your super could be a potential target for scammers. Here are three types of scams to be aware of when it comes to your super:
Phishing - This type of scam can involve scammers tricking you into providing personal or financial information, over the phone, email, SMS messages or by asking you to log into a fake website.
Identity theft - By assuming your identity a scammer could contact your super fund and request that your super is transferred into a fraudulent account.
Illegal early release - Scammers pose as a service that claims to give you early access to your super (you can’t touch your super until preservation age except in very limited circumstances), charging you a fee or stealing your balance.
Vision Super has procedures in place to protect your identity and retirement savings, but there are steps you can take to protect your super, and your other financial and personal information too.
Don’t let a scammer piece together your details from your post
Lock your letterbox or have your mail held at the post office if you are away for an extended period. Shred your bills and important documents, such as information about your super, before throwing them out.
Think twice about what you say online
Your personal details are often necessary when buying things, completing surveys, or signing up for services online, but you need to be careful with what you share and who you share it with.
Don’t let a scammer trick you into handing over your details
Is the organisation or person who they say they are? Scammers sometimes pose as well-known companies or departments to get you to provide them with your valuable information.
If you have any doubts at all, check a phone book or do an online search to verify the organisations contact details, and if it still seems suspicious, don’t respond.
Keep your mobile devices and computers secure
Make sure the security software on your computer is up-to-date and that your Wi-Fi network is protected with a password. Use password protection when sharing access with others (including remotely).
Consider clearing you email inbox and deleted items regularly as to not leave valuable documents and information available if a scammer was to log in, and avoid using public computers or Wi-Fi hotspots to access online banking or providing personal information.
Choose your passwords carefully
A password needs to be difficult to guess, and changed regularly as it’s often the only barrier between your private information and a scammer. A strong password uses a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, and shouldn’t be used for every account/profile you have, or shared with anyone.
Keep your details updated
Keep Vision Super, and any organisations that would have financial and personal details, updated with your contact details, for example, a change of address, phone or email - so we don’t send information to the wrong place.
Keep an eye on your finances
Read your bank and super statements when they are emailed or mailed to you, and keep an eye on your balance, checking for unusual transactions.
Get a copy of your free credit report
Visit ASIC’s MoneySmart website to find out how to get a free copy of your credit report. You can use it to check that no one is using your name to borrow money or run up debts.
You can find more information at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website.
To view your Vision Super account or update your details, you can securely log in to Vision Online or call our Member Services team on 1300 300 820.