Superannuation funds are becoming a target for criminals, with identity theft one of the biggest risks when it comes to protecting your super account.
Identity theft is where your personal information is compromised or stolen and used to carry out fraudulent activity.
We have various security measures to protect your super, but there are extra things you can do to reduce the risk of identity theft and the risk of a fraud on your account.
The best way to keep on top of your super and detect any unusual activity is to access your HESTA online account and monitor it regularly. You’ll be able to:
If you want to set up an online account you can register here.
We’ll send you an SMS confirmation of changes to your personal details made on your online account – remember if you receive a confirmation of a change you didn't make, contact us immediately on 1800 813 327.
Set up a password on your HESTA account that is:
We recommend you enable the 2-factor authentication option in your online account as it provides an extra layer of security.
Remember to change your password regularly and keep your HESTA account details confidential.
We may call you about your super, particularly if:
We do this as a benefit of membership.
However, unsolicited cold calls are illegal, and you should not engage with these callers as it could be a scam organised by fraudsters.
Fraudsters may attempt to obtain your personal information and account information over the phone or via SMS.
If you receive a phone call or SMS relating to your super that you’re unsure about:
Fraudsters may send you fake emails that can contain harmful links or malicious attachments, this is known as phishing. You can usually identify a phishing email by:
Always be cautious as phishing emails can be hard to detect.
We won’t send you emails asking you to confirm or disclose your personal information.
If you receive an email that you’re unsure about:
Scammers pretend to be financial advisers from organisations that appear trustworthy and will try to make contact online, by email or a cold call. They encourage individuals by promising things such as:
Often, they will ask you for:
Once they have the information they need, they work on transferring your funds into an account controlled by them, and you risk losing your super to fraud.
Beware of advertisements promoting early access to super, as well as unlicensed operators. You can verify licensed operators on the ASIC Connect website.
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.
Scammers will sometimes claim they can help people access their super before they reach preservation age. Other than for extreme financial hardship or compassionate reasons, you generally can’t access your super until you’re aged 55-60. People experiencing financial stress may be vulnerable to this technique, so always speak to a HESTA team member if you want to learn more about early access to super.
If you suspect fraudulent activity on your super account, please call us immediately on 1800 813 327.
For more information on how to protect yourself, visit: