Keeping your AvSuper account secure
The very large size of the superannuation industry in Australia (in dollar terms), makes it a very attractive target for various financial crimes and financial fraud. Fraud is by far the most prevalent crime currently affecting superannuation fund members, and it is clearly on the increase, with many reported cases of falsified documents and attempted illegal early release of superannuation savings. Many cases of fraud are enabled by cybercrime, with super funds observing regular and sophisticated hacking attempts.
You may even have seen various media reports during late 2019 regarding a major fraud syndicate stealing identities of individuals and accessing their superannuation savings. AvSuper members are not immune from being targeted for such crimes, especially since the average account balances of our members are amongst the largest in the country, making them a very attractive target. Criminals engaged in superannuation crime use a range of methods and techniques, such as:
- accessing your email and social media accounts to obtain enough personal information about you to falsify identity documents to satisfy identity checks in order to access your superannuation account,
- once they have access to your superannuation account, fraudsters make changes to your personal information, then try to move money out of your account,
- using social media to determine when a member leaves the country, or is away on holidays (and is therefore unlikely to be monitoring their account) to make changes to your account, or to then endeavour to withdraw amounts from your retirement savings.
We’ve prepared this fact sheet to help you understand what we’re doing to safeguard your retirement savings from the growing threats of cybercrime and financial fraud. Importantly there are a number of things you can do personally to ensure you can manage the security of your superannuation savings against fraudsters and other criminal activity.
What we’re doing
You can be assured that we take the security of your retirement savings seriously and we have a large range of robust security controls in place to keep your money safe, including rigorous fraud detection and related risk controls. These controls, including cyber-security measures, firewalls and various complex encryption systems, are subject to rigorous and regular review, testing and enhancement to ensure that they remain strong, secure and up-to-date.
Most recently we introduced an electronic identification process, where identification details are checked against a government database to ensure member’s data is legitimate. Not only is this much more secure than paper-based proof of identity processes which can be subject to falsification, its easier and quicker for members to use and allows us to then pay member benefits more quickly.
You may have noticed that you can’t access our withdrawal benefit payment form from our public website anymore. This was quite deliberate. While this means that members need to contact us directly to request a copy of the form, importantly it allows us to verify that the form is not in fact going to a fraudster pretending to be you.
Where a withdrawal request involves money going to another super fund we cannot check banking details for (such as a self managed super fund or SMSF), we generally request certified copies of bank statements so as to endeavour to ensure the money is not going to a fraudster’s bank account.
What you can do
There a number of key techniques you can use to keep your AvSuper account safe and secure.
Password management – keep your password for AOL safe and do not share it with anyone. Change your password regularly and use a strong password, using a mix of lower case and capital letters, numbers and symbols. Make it unique rather than use the same password as you use for your email, social media or bank account access.
Engagement – regularly login in via AOL to check your personal details are up to date and review transactions to your account. Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately if you see any suspicious transactions.
Even better – get to know your Member Advice Consultants at AvSuper personally – if we know you from repeated and regular contact, it may make it more difficult for someone to successfully impersonate you in respect of your super account.
Secure your email accounts, social media accounts and devices– make sure you have secure passwords for your personal email accounts and social media accounts and a high privacy setting that will prevent fraudsters from accessing your accounts or seeing your holiday snaps!
Make sure your computer has antivirus software installed and keep it up to date, and never allow anyone remote access to your computer.
If you think your super has been targeted or could have had money taken by a fraudster, taking immediate action can help prevent a crime or limit its impact. If you suspect something, please contact us on 1300 128 751 immediately and ask us to have a look at your account for signs of fraudulent activity.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Local call: 1300 128 751 | www.avsuper.com.au