Circle Alliance Bank

There are many different forms of card fraud. The most common is that someone obtains your card details and uses them over the phone or online to make large purchases in your name.

To protect yourself from card fraud, follow these recommendations:

  • When you first receive your new card, sign it immediately.
  • If the card is a replacement, cut up your old card.
  • Safeguard your card and PIN at all times, and never carry your card and PIN together.
  • Always cover your PIN when using ATM and EFTPOS machines.
  • If you believe an ATM has been tampered with, do not use it.
  • Ensure that the ATM transaction has been completed before walking away.
  • Be aware of anyone acting suspiciously near the ATM
  • Be alert for anyone trying to observe you entering your PIN
  • Always keep your card in sight during a transaction.
  • When shopping online, only deal with reputable companies, and check for the padlock symbol and https:// address
  • If you are going overseas, advise us prior to leaving so that we can monitor any overseas transactions.
  • If your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately to the card hotline on 1800 648 027.

We all think we can easily spot a scam and will not fall victim to fraudsters, but it can happen to anyone.

To keep you informed, we have provided information on some of the most common types of frauds and scams that you will encounter, together with practical tips on how to protect your identity, accounts and funds from fraudsters. After all – prevention is better than a cure. Here are some general tips on how to protect yourself against fraud:

  • Notify us as soon as possible when you change your address or contact details.
  • Always check your statements carefully and report any unauthorised transactions to us immediately.
  • If you receive a telephone call from a person claiming to be a staff member requesting your PIN, password or card number, do not disclose any information. Read more under.
  • Never reply to any emails asking for personal or account information. We will never send you an email asking you to confirm account details. Read more under.
  • Remember that if something offered to you sounds too good to be true, it usually is. .
  • Store your cheque book in a safe place, and make sure you complete cheques fully.
  • Safeguard your card and PIN at all times.
  • Ensure you keep up to date anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed on your computer.
  • Ensure that you follow our safety tips when accessing mobile banking from your smartphone.

There are many more important safeguards to protect you and your family against fraud. For more information on the latest fraud prevention methods, go to the Australian Government website

Financial institutions in Australia have been subject to various email scams that are designed to compromise the personal information of individuals in order to illegally obtain and transfer funds overseas. There are generally two types of emails aimed at obtaining your personal information:

1. Phishing (pronounced fishing) emails

Phishing emails are designed to trick you into disclosing personal information such as account details, passwords or card numbers. Be suspicious of unexpected emails from a bank, credit union or building society asking you to supply information. If you have accidentally given out personal information regarding your account details, please change your Access Code in Internet Banking immediately. If you are unsure how to do this or have any other queries, please contact our helpful staff on 1300 553 582 and they will assist you. Remember, financial institutions don’t do business via email and would never ask you to confirm your identity or supply your passwords via email. If you receive an email claiming to be from CIRCLE Credit Union asking for account or personal information or directing you to log in to an external site, please contact us immediately on 1300 553 582 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Virus or trojan emails
These emails come from senders who are usually unknown to the receiver. They contain links or attachments that may download and install malicious software (malware) onto your computer. If you click on a link in these emails, or open an attachment, the malware will try to install itself automatically on your computer, though this could be blocked if you have the appropriate software security updates installed on your computer. Some of these viruses are even programmed to uninstall your anti-virus scanner prior to downloading these viruses. If you have already actioned an email by clicking on the link, or you notice that your computer has become slower and you have other icons on your computer that you don't remember downloading, these are signs that your computer has been infected by viruses. In this case, have your computer professionally cleaned by a computer technician to remove any viruses/spyware that may have been downloaded, and have them install the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

Identity fraud can occur in many ways—from somebody using your credit card details illegally to make purchases to having your entire identity assumed by another person to open bank accounts, take out loans and conduct illegal business under your name. How to protect yourself from identity theft:

  • Never send money or give personal details to people you don’t know and trust.
  • If you receive a call from your bank or any other organisation, don’t provide your personal details—instead ask for their name and a contact number. Check with the organisation in question before calling back.
  • Never rely on a number provided in an email or click on the provided link—instead find the contact number through an internet search or check the back of your ATM card.
  • Regularly check your credit card and/or bank statements to ensure that suspicious transactions are detected.
  • Shred all documents containing personal information, such as credit card applications and bank statements.
  • Log directly onto websites you are interested in rather than clicking on links provided in an email.
  • Always get independent advice if you are unsure whether an offer or request is genuine.
  • Lock your letterbox securely to avoid your mail being stolen.
  • Ensure you choose passwords that are not easy for someone to guess, such as your date of birth, pet’s name etc.

Signs of identity fraud

These can vary, but some typical signs that your identity is being used unlawfully are:

  • A financial institution informs you they have received an application for credit that you have not applied for.
  • You receive phone calls or letters advising that you have been denied credit that you have not applied for.
  • You receive bank, mobile phone or credit card statements or notices in your name, of which you have no knowledge.
  • You notice that you no longer receive your bank or credit card statement or you notice that not all your mail is being delivered.

What can you do?

If you believe that you have had personal papers stolen, or have become a victim of identity theft, notify us as soon as possible on 1300 553 582. You should also advise any other financial institution that you bank with so they are aware of the situation. Any instance of identity fraud should also be immediately reported to your local police.
It is also a good idea to advise close family and friends as identity theft rings will often target more than one member of a household. In addition, consider contacting Veda Advantage, a credit agency, to obtain your credit history report so that you are kept fully informed of any unauthorised activity on your own file. Veda Advantage can be contacted via their Customer Service Centre on 1300 762 207 or at

Internet banking fraud occurs when someone uses your details to access your account in Internet Banking, and illegally transfers funds to a different financial institution. Access to your logon details is usually made possible through techniques such as hoax emails or by accessing Internet Banking from a PC you can’t trust.

The following tips will help you protect against Internet Banking fraud:

  • Ensure you have up to date anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed on your computer.
  • Never divulge your password or access code to anyone.
  • If you have accidentally give out personal information, change your access code immediately and report the matter to us.
  • Always access Internet Banking by typing in your browser or save it to your favourites.
  • Always look for the SSL encrypted connection as indicated by the https:// and a padlock in the top address bar. You can also check that the website's digital certificate is issued by Verisign to
  • Always logout from your Internet Banking session and remember to close your browser.
  • Do not use computers at public places, such as internet cafes for Internet Banking.
  • Never reply to any emails asking for personal or account information.
  • Change your Internet Banking access code on a regular basis.
  • Regularly check your account balances and immediately report any discrepancies to us.

Moneysmart is an initiative of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. At CIRCLE we believe in the financial education and advancement of our members and encourage you to click on the Moneysmart button below which will take you directly to the Moneysmart website.

Who is this site for?

MoneySmart is for all Australians - young or old, rich or poor, investing or paying off debt. It offers free, independent guidance so you can make the best choices for your money. It is not selling you anything. And when life puts your finances under stress, MoneySmart is here to help you ride the storm. It has smart tips on dealing with the ups and downs of life: losing your job, having a baby, divorce or separation, buying a homelosing your partner and many more.

The MoneySmart team

MoneySmart is put together by an experienced team of financial planners and consumer educators. Some team members have been involved in financial services for over 20 years. They have seen where things can go wrong and can help you avoid potential disasters. They see things from your point of view. Their team includes young guns under the age of 30 and old hands over 50. They have first home buyers, mums with young kids, experienced DIY investors and people who are successfully planning their retirement. They add to your knowledge by consulting a wide range of external experts in industry, government and the community. They also use consumer research to guide their information.

How they work

MoneySmart website helps ordinary Australians take steps to improve their personal finances. They provide you with independent information so you can be better informed in making decisions. They help you take action on matters that will make a difference to your life. However, you should consider getting financial advice before you make major financial decisions.  They regularly review and update their content, and welcome you to contact them if you have any comments. They publish research into the effectiveness of the MoneySmart website. They also have information available about their advertising campaigns, such as the 'Get MoneySmart' campaign. You can also read what users say about the MoneySmart website.

Their history

ASIC has been active in financial literacy for many years. ASIC's previous consumer websites were FIDO and Understanding Money. FIDO was a great source of financial information for almost a decade. Understanding Money was an innovative website for almost 5 years, with simple steps and basic calculators to help people sort out their money. These websites were replaced by MoneySmart in March 2011.  Since July 2008, ASIC has been the government agency with overall responsibility for financial literacy. The MoneySmart website is one of the key initiatives in the National Financial Literacy Strategy. ASIC also has a website for teachers and educators MoneySmart Teaching. It provides professional learning and other resources to help educators integrate consumer and financial literacy into teaching and learning programs.  

ASIC's other roles

This website is quite separate from ASIC's other roles. ASIC is also the corporate, markets and financial services and consumer credit regulator. For more information about ASIC's role as a regulator, go to the ASIC website. ASIC's regulatory role includes helping consumers and investors protect themselves against unfair or illegal conduct in financial services and consumer credit. Visit our how to complain webpage for information on banking, credit or investment complaints. Click here to visit the Moneysmart website.

There are numerous scams out there and many more scams being developed every day in an attempt to trick you into providing your personal information or giving up some of your hard earned money. The simply rule to remember is, if the offer seems too good to be true then it probably is. For more information on scams go to

How to be aware of Phishing scams

Read about to make sure you're not falling for a Phishing scam.

It is very important to make sure you protect your information on your smartphone to prevent fraud. The following tips will help safeguard your smartphone from fraud:

  • Never store passwords or PINs on your smartphone - Despite how cleverly you may think you’ve concealed them, criminals know what to look for and where.
  • Turn off tethering, Wi-Fi™ and Bluetooth when not in use - These are the access points to your smartphone. If you don’t need to connect, keep them switched off and close the door to criminals.
  • Only use wireless hot spots that are reputable and password protected - Criminals can hijack unsecured networks and trick you into divulging your personal details.
  • Activate smartphone security settings and password protection - All smartphones have built-in security features such as auto locking and password protection. Make sure they are switched on to protect your smartphone and personal details.
  • Don’t ‘jailbreak’ your smartphone as this makes it vulnerable to malware - Jailbreaking is removing the limitations imposed by the manufacturer so that you can freely download any application to your phone. By jailbreaking your phone, you’ll not only make your warranty invalid, you could also make it easier for cyber-criminals to install malware and compromise your smartphone.
  • If your smartphone is lost or stolen, remote data delete programs may be available - Talk to the manufacturer to find out if this is available for your smartphone.
  • Limit the amount of personal information on your phone - Any kind of personal information can be used to steal your identity and commit other kinds of fraud. By being careful about what you have stored on your smartphone you can reduce the risk if it gets compromised. 

Stay Smart Online is the Government's cyber security website designed to help Australians understand cyber security risks and educate home and small business users on the simple steps they can take to protect their personal and financial information online. The website is hosted by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and has received input and support from a range of other Australian Government agencies which have related responsibilities.

Stay Smart Online Basic Information

The internet has increasingly become part of our daily life. It provides a way for us to connect and communicate with the outside world. It's important to secure your computer properly-otherwise you may be putting yourself at risk. There are six simple things you can do to better protect yourself online:

  • Install security software and update it regularly.
  • Turn on automatic updates so all your software receives the latest fixes.
  • Set strong passwords, particularly for important online accounts and change them regularly -consider making a diary entry to remind yourself.
  • Stop and think before you click on links or attachments in emails.
  • Stop and think before you share any personal or financial information-about you, your friends or family.
  • Know what your children are doing online. Make sure they know how to stay safe and encourage them to report anything suspicious.

In partnership with industry, community and consumer groups and state and territory governments, the Australian Government runs an annual National Cyber Security Awareness Week. It is designed to raise awareness among Australians of cyber security risks and simple steps they can take to protect their personal and financial information online. On this website you can subscribe to the Stay Smart Online Alert Service, a free service that provides information on the latest computer network threats and vulnerabilities in simple, non-technical, easy to understand language. It also provides solutions to help manage these risks. Click here to visit the Staysmartonline website for more tools and advice

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