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Vulnerable consumers lose record amounts to scammers.

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Australians love technology. We are spending more time online shopping, entering our personal details and accessing the internet on our devices. Some of us even have an auto-memory software in place in case we forget our passwords.

Anybody using the internet and electronic devices needs to be aware of the increasing threat of scammers. Recently, scammers have been impersonating your favourite businesses or even the police and the Australian Taxation Office. They want to gain access to your computer and steal money or banking information.

Australians who are older, Indigenous or have disability reported record losses in 2018 according to the ACCC's annual Targeting Scams report released last week. Older Australians looking to grow their nest eggs but who instead get caught up in investment scams reported losses of $7.6 million, and those misled through fake relationships reported losses of $5.8 million to dating and romance scams.

“Scammers will start with a cold call to their victim promising low-risk investments for high returns. They may spend months grooming their victims and once a victim invests, they’re quickly convinced to put more and more money in. As soon as the victim tries to cash in on their investment, the scammer quickly disappears,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

You can avoid becoming a victim of scammers by knowing how to protect your information and your devices. Learning more on the scams that are being used can empower you to avoid being caught. Some of the scams are as follows:

  • Hoax messages: emails, text messages or internet pop ups that direct you to fake websites which prompt you to reveal personal information.
  • Malware: software that can monitor where you go online and record your keystrokes which means it can record your confidential passwords, logins and other personal information.
  • Fake phone surveys:  contact you and ask questions to try and trick you into revealing personal information.
  • Website scams: targeting many people by running a scam that sounds “too good to be true”.
  • Phone porting: switching your phone to another provider without permission to gain access to your calls and text messages.

Please note:  The Bank will:

  • Never ask for your Internet Banking login details or credit card details via phone or email
  • Never use email to send you a link to an Internet Banking login page
  • Never ask you to communicate your passwords to us in any form

 

Security tips

There are some good practices and simple actions that may reduce personal information being compromised.

  • Lock it – set a password on your device so that no one else can use or view the information. Also store your device in a secure location.
  • Contact your bank if you lose your phone or tablet – call your bank immediately to tell staff about the loss and provide your new number.
  • Be careful what you send via text message – never send personal information via message.
  • Only use official internet banking apps – those from your bank.
  • Install and keep up to date anti-virus and firewall software purchased from trusted suppliers.
  • Protect your passwords – keep your PIN and passwords confidential. Avoid using the same password for multiple websites. If your banking app allows a PIN, make sure it’s different than the one you use to unlock your mobile device. Make sure your password or code is hard for others to guess but easy for you to remember.
  • Read privacy policies – before you provide personal information to any website, understand how your information will be used and how long it will be retained. To view Reliance Bank’s privacy policy click here
  • Be wary of free downloads, programs, software or screensavers – sometimes malware and spyware can be hidden in free offers.
  • Check your bank statements – contact your bank if you find any unusual or suspicious transactions.
  • Always log out of internet banking.

Unfortunately, scammers are becoming more sophisticated and see opportunities whenever money is involved, and they will always seek new ways to steal and commit fraud. At Reliance Bank, rest assured that your financial wellbeing is always our top priority along with the security and safety of your banking. These tips are here to help you build a better defence against scammers.

Don’t forget to check out www.scamwatch.gov.au for more tips as they become available.

 

 

Changes to your Credit Card

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The new Federal Government Credit Card legislation will come into effect from 1 January 2019, this will change how you can change and cancel your Credit Card limit and also how interest is calculated on your Credit Card/s.

Here are the changes and how these changes may affect you.

Credit Card limit reductions and cancellations

You now have the option to reduce or cancel your credit card/s online via our website in the Visa Credit Card page.  

Calculating Credit Card interest charges

Banks and Credit Card providers can no longer retroactively charge interest on Credit Card balances. Currently, when you do not pay the full closing balance as shown on your statement, interest charged on purchases is calculated from the date the purchase was made. This is changing. 

From 1 January 2019*, if you do not pay the full closing balance as shown on your statement, interest for purchases will start being calculated from the day after the payment due date.

*Note: Due to IT system constraints, the implementation of law reforms relating to charging of interest on Credit Card accounts has been delayed until 1 June 2019. To ensure that you have not been adversely affected, we may refund some interest charged from 1 January 2019 to 1 June 2019. This refund is to ensure that you are not charged more interest than if the law reforms had been implemented from 1 January 2019.

 

Scheduled maintenance alert

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We will be conducting scheduled maintenance to our banking system on Sunday, 26 May 2019 between 1:00 am to 5:00 am. During this time, Internet, Mobile & Phone Banking as well as our Banking App may be unavailable. We recommend that you conduct your banking activities using these services outside of this time.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will update once the maintenance has been completed.

   

Members support lead to fees being slashed.

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Due to the excellent support that our Members have provided us, we are in the fortunate position to reduce and eliminate a number of fees. As a Member Owned Bank, we are constantly looking for opportunities to provide benefits to our Members and these positive changes are a clear example of us putting our principles into action. The more our Members support our Bank the better position the Bank is in to support you and the communities that you live and work in.

From 1 January 2019, you will benefit from the following changes:

Excess Transaction Fees
Reduced to $1.20
All in One Rewards Package Annual Fee
Reduced to $350 per annum
Unsecured / Secured Personal Loan Service Fee 
Reduced to $5 per month
Periodical / BPAY / Direct Transfer Payment Fee (Staff Assisted)
Free
Banklink Establishment Fee
Free
Banklink Cancellation Fee
Free

 

 

 

 

 

As a reminder to Members, you can use over 20,000 ATMs owned and operated by Banks Australia-wide (listed below) and not incur a Direct Charge. We have withdrawn from the rediATM network of around 3000 ATMS and should you use this network, a Direct Charge of $2.50 will be charged by the ATM owner from 1 January 2019. 

  • NAB
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • Westpac
  • ANZ
  • BOQ - will not apply Direct Charge on their branch ATMs. All their offsite ATMs like BP Service stations, etc, will incur Direct Charge.

We will be rebranding our ATMs in our Branches, which you will notice over the coming weeks. These ATMs remain free of charge and members can still transact for free over the counter in the Branch Network. You can also join the thousands of members that have taken up our digital services by downloading our Banking App from the Apple or Google Play Stores or by loading your Visa Card into your digital wallet.

Should you have any questions in relation to the changes or any of our Digital Services, please contact us during normal business hours on 13 24 40.

 

Startup Kaffeine

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Upstairs Startup Hub Bathurst is launching a new program called Startup Kaffeine, to teach the art of entrepreneurship in the Central West Region.

In October of 2018, Upstairs was able to secure funding from Jobs For NSW through the Local Startup Kaffeine programme for early-stage startups and will kick start an investment pathway for Startups looking to gain funding. Startup Kaffeine will also improve outcomes for startups by forming an alliance of startup spaces in the Central West region that will be supported by online resources, live streaming and collaboration.

Startup Kaffeine is a short, sharp, engaging course that will run for 2 hours per week over six weeks at venues near you with some classes also being run online. Startup Kaffeine was designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs in regional and rural Australia. Julia Learson, the Head of Community at Upstairs Startup Hub, is leading this project with a focus to build the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Central West.

Startup Kaffeine encourages anyone with a good idea to take that leap to learn how to be an entrepreneur and grow their idea into a viable business. Over six exciting weeks, the new startups will be surrounded by a cohort of other aspiring entrepreneurs to be mentored and supported by local and international business experts, resulting in a live pitch to potential investors, customers and supporters, and a professional promo video for their website.

The course begins on Wednesday, 15 May 2019 at 10 am. Apply now via www.upstairs.org.au/kaffeine or call Julia Learson on 0411 337 444

   

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