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Scammers have turned to a new con and are ramping up their efforts this Christmas, targeting a bank feature that allows people to withdraw money from ATMs without needing a card.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) says it is seeing a spike in the scam right now and estimates Australians have been fleeced millions of dollars.
ATO assistant commissioner Karen Foat described the con as a "new twist on an old scam" where people are convinced they owe a tax debt and need to repay it immediately.
"Now what we're seeing is that some scammers are asking people to make a payment using cardless cash," she said.
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In this video explained how and which banks give feature to withdraw money by mobile from ATM's.
Commonwealth Bank supports cardless withdrawals. This is a very convenient method of sending cash to others remotely, or to withdraw emergency cash without
"So what they (scammers) do is once they've convinced someone that they've got a tax debt, they help them to set up cardless cash ... where you can get money out of an ATM without your card, just using a code that you get to your mobile or through your banking app.
"And the scammer gets given that code and then they can get your money out of the ATM.
"The cardless cash scam is one that we've just seen emerging in recent months, so it is still relatively new."
Ms Foat said one Sydneysider was duped out of $500 through this tactic and only realised after a client told him it was a scam.
She said scammers were particularly active in the lead-up to Christmas because this was a time the ATO usually did contact people who owed money.
Scams are rampant in Australia, with authorities predicting they will leave people.
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The cardless cash feature , offered by banks including Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank , allows users to withdraw ATO Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat told Business Insider it was “a new twist on an old scam ”. And the new twist is now that some of these scammers are using cardless cash .
With the Cardless Cash feature in the HomeStreet Bank mobile app, you can withdraw money from HomeStreet Bank ATMs using your smartphone. Cardless Cash is: Fast - Set-up cash withdrawal transaction details in advance before arriving at an ATM. No need to insert your card and enter the PIN.
Of that, more than $2 million will be handed over to scammers impersonation the ATO alone, with 622 people caught in that trap so far this year.
Common cons include threatening jail if a "fine" is not paid, and sending a text with a link that asks the recipient to log in to a service, thus giving their details to a scammer.
There is also the "ring and cut" method where a scammer calls a phone and hangs up immediately. Those who call back are charged a premium rate.
Such is the concern around phone scams in particular that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) launched a review 18 months ago.
ACMA has now recommended three trials:
- A "do not originate" list, which compiles a list of numbers scammers use when they try to make their calls look like they are coming from trusted organisations
- A look at whether telecommunications companies can identify and block "ring and cut" style calls
- An attempt to pinpoint overseas phone numbers being used for scams
However, ACMA Scam Project chairwoman Fiona Cameron admitted regulators and telcos were hamstrung.
Aussies are being targeted by 'cardless cash' scams, according to the ATO – here's how they work
Around $2 million was lost to scammers pretending to be from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) between November 2018 and January 2019. In late 2018, the ATO saw the largest peak in money lost to scammers pretending to be from the ATO. It found that around $2 million was lost between November 2018 and January 2019.
Cardless ATM can be easily setup with a banking app to enable consumers to find the nearest cardless enabled ATM & easily withdraw money without the ATM card. Cardless ATM powered by Mastercard®.
As this video from BMO Harris Bank shows, "mobile cash " allows consumers to get cash from ATMs without ever using a card. A customer logs into the mobile
"It is hard to be anything but reactive when they come internationally and when you can't identify where they're coming from," she told ABC's AM.
"But there are patterns and ways of identifying scam activity. So there is no silver bullet, but there are certainly ways to block and verify calls.
"We can't rest on our laurels and we do have to actually bust a few scams as we go."
In the meantime, the ATO has released a list of signs consumers are being scammed. The ATO says it will never:
- Threaten you with immediate arrest, jail or deportation
- Show its number on your caller ID
- Request payment of a debt via cardless cash, iTunes or Google Play cards, pre-paid Visa cards, cryptocurrency, or direct credit to a personal bank account
- Send an email or SMS requesting you click on a hyperlink to log on to government services
This Is Why We Hang Stockings on Christmas .
It’s a central part of any home during Christmas: a series of large sock-like sacks hung on mantle (with care). But why do we hang Christmas stockings?But here's another theory that still dates back 700 years, when Dutch children started stuffing their clogs with hay and carrots. They'd leave the shoes outside their homes on the eve of Sinterklaas Day (Dec. 6), believing that Santa would take the treats for his reindeer and replace the goodies with coins or small gifts for them to discover the next morning, according to Smithsonian. Over time, the shoes were moved inside, then replaced by the children's socks—and the date they were hung changed as well, from the eve of St.