Protect yourself from super scams
For most Australians, their superannuation is their most valuable asset after their home. Unfortunately, this also makes super an attractive prospect to scammers who are increasingly stealing identities and subsequently people’s hard-earned retirement savings.
4 minute read
Here are some signs of a super scam:
- Claims that you’re about to be locked out of your account.
- Claims that they’re from a legitimate government agency such as the ATO, myGov, Services Australia and so on.
- Attempts to scare or pressure a person into disclosing personal or sensitive information.
- Claims that you may be eligible for a government payment.
- Offers of easy access to your super before you reach preservation age.
How to spot a super scam
Scammers can target you online, by phone, letter, social media or email.
If you receive a call from Australian Retirement Trust, our representatives will always clearly identify themselves and explain why they’re calling. For example, they may tell you that they’re calling about a form you recently completed. They’ll usually ask you for identification information so they can discuss your account with you.
Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls about your superannuation. This is especially true if the call is from someone claiming to be a government authority, or someone trying to convince you to change to a self-managed super fund (SMSF) or another super fund with promises of high returns.
Also, be cautious of callers who pressure you to give them information immediately, especially if it’s sensitive information such as your member number, TFN, or financial details.
If you’re in any way suspicious that the caller isn’t an Australian Retirement Trust Representative, hang up and call our Customer Contact Centre on 13 11 84, or message us on live chat. If it appears you’ve been called by a scammer, we’re able to take immediate steps to ensure your account is secure if necessary.
Email, text, social media, or letter
Always review written communications carefully. If you notice spelling or grammar errors, or an email address that seems incorrect, this may indicate a fraud attempt. As always, if in doubt, contact us.
Self-managed super fund (SMSF) scams
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has alerted the public of scams where individuals are encouraged to create a SMSF.
Usually, contact is made through a phone call or email. When people transfer their funds to what they believe is their SMSF, their super balances are instead transferred to a bank account controlled by the scammer. You can read more about SMSF scams on the ASIC website.
Early release scams
Scammers will sometimes claim they can help people access their superannuation before they reach preservation age. Australians experiencing financial stress may be vulnerable to this technique, so always speak to an Australian Retirement Trust team member or visit our website if you want to learn more about early access to super.
Here’s some things you can do to keep your super safe:
- Verify your identity. Using our Electronic Identity Confirmation tool in Member Online will help verify your details and make your account more secure.
- Passwords should be difficult to guess. A strong password will usually include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You might want to consider using a password manager from a reputable company.
- Regularly log into Member Online or the Australian Retirement Trust App to check your balance and transaction history and take note of any unusual or suspicious activity. Make sure you log out after you’re done and keep your username and password safe.
- Make sure to keep all your contact details such as postal address, email and phone number, up to date.
- If your name is incorrect on your account, be sure to update it as soon as possible.
- Secure your paperwork; if possible, make sure you letterbox is always locked. Consider shredding any paper letters or statements that contain sensitive information before you throw them out.
- Be cautious about what information you share online – this includes information you share when signing up for newsletters, competitions or what you share on your own social media.
- Make yourself familiar with the rules that apply to early access to super.
- Don’t let anyone use your computer.
What to do if you're scammed
If you think your account may have been compromised for any reason, follow these steps:
- Contact us immediately to let us know.
- Contact your local police.
- You can also contact the National Identity & Cyber Support service (IDCARE). IDCARE is a registered charity providing support to Australians and New Zealanders who experience harm as a result of the compromise or misuse of their identity information.