Protect ourselves Investment Scams

Only if they were asked to check. If they were given emails with banking details for the transfer and asked the teller to transfer the monies to the account shown on the emails…this is what a teller will do. The teller processes requests and isn’t an expert in fraud.

It isn’t their responsibility to say ‘can you wait while I contact our fraud detection team to scrutinise the email, banking details etc to check they are legitimate’ - which could take some time. As the customer contacted the scammers in front of the bank teller, thinking it was ING, then asking for the transfer…even I would think it was legitimate.

In relation to money mules, these are often victims as well. They are individuals that have legitimate bank accounts which have heen hijacked (giving access to the scammers to allow them to transfer monies between accounts), victims of romance or other trust based scams (scammers convincing the account holder to transfer a deposit out of their account) or have applied for a job to make a few extra dollars (where commissions are paid for each transfer). It is rare that a scammer will get someone to specifically open a new account to allow their money laundering - this will raise red flags.

AFP have recently have been providing media statements that financially vulnerable university students in Australia have been targeted by scammers (criminals) as money mules:

These students would otherwise have bank accounts and may apply for ‘jobs’ to earn some extra cash.


No - when you’re setting up a payment or creating a new payee via BSB and account number, the bank’s system looks up the BSB and displays the name of the bank. No reason the same wouldn’t happen on the bank consultant’s screen. On the one occasion when I needed to transfer a large sum to someone else’s account, the bank consultant made a point of showing me what the BSB and account number translated to, to confirm that it seemed correct.

On that occasion, the transfer happened to be within the same bank, so the name of the receiving account was displayed.

With the new controls that are supposed to be being putting in place, the account name should now display even when it’s going to a different bank.

If that is true, why not do it anyway? If it is not true - more shame on them.

Why would a person in that situation not try to do more than the minimum - especially given the size of the transaction?

I find it strange that you call this being a nanny and I call it providing a professional service.

I have done the same with the bank in question in the ACA article a few years ago - and when confirming the BSB and account number on the teller screen before the transaction was processed for an external account, it was no different to what experienced with online banking. That being, the BSB and account number was shown but not any information about the receiving institution.

It might have changed since our transaction, but, there is a possibility it hasn’t as online banking remains the same.

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Interesting. For as long as I’ve been using online banking, whenever I enter a BSB and account number for a bank transfer or when setting up a payee, the BSB is translated to the relevant institution name, and the account number stays as a number. For the bank consultant ~two years ago, the account number was also translated to account name, because it was on the same bank.

Maybe different banks do it differently? Mine is Westpac.

Ours doesn’t.

There isn’t any information, but a warning does comes up when the transaction is confirmed indicating that if monies are transferred to the incorrect account, it may not be possible to recover funds.

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Hm … must be that your bank does things differently from mine.

Here’s an example of a Westpac BSB+account payee.

As you see, the BSB is accompanied by the name of the institution, and the account number is just a number, because it’s on a different bank.

The only information on the statements (just checked), whether it is an internal or external transfer. The BSB is presented for external transfers and the receiving account number for all transfers. No receiving financial institution description. This is as close to knowing whether transfer ended (external or internal).

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I don’t think that a BSB that indicated one of the major Australian banks as a destination for a money transfer would raise much suspicion to a teller.

The BSB six number can be easily looked up in a reference table. The original bank/state/branch format of 2/1/3 has long gone.

But, the only way to check the account number is correct for the given BSB is for the destination bank to verify that that account exists (and multiple banks could have the same account number) and match it to the account name and report back.

Whilst it is a goal to implement account number matching to account name, it is not there yet on all banks.

And not something I am aware a teller would be doing through their transaction systems. Perhaps it would very sensible for a teller to refer money transfers over a certain amount, say $10K to the manager for checking, by communications to a receiving bank, but that would be a matter of bank processes, not teller initiative.

On the other hand, PayID is here now, and the details have been verified on setting up a PayID. If I were directed to do a substantial money transfer I would be asking for the PayID, and if there was only a BSB-account, I would be asking why not.

This awful scam has also harvested private details of the victims because to look genuine they must have asked for the 100 points needed to open a new financial institution account. The main one (75 points) is an Id with photo and birthdate such as a passport, or a birth certificate. Also DL (45 points) has photo and birthdate. Such details are constants and can lead to other scams.


Said reference table is available on the web.

Such as: