SBS Security

Tips to help you avoid scams:

A bank will never ring you and ask you to provide account details or personal information. If you get such a call, phone your bank’s 0800 number immediately to report it.

Never tell anyone your login details, PIN, passwords or verification codes – not even the police, bank staff, friends or family. 

Your bank will never ask you for your login PIN details or passwords.

Check your statements.

Advise your bank immediately of any unauthorised transactions and if you suspect you’ve been taken in by a scam, contact your bank as soon as possible.

How we protect Your Information

SBS Bank takes the security of your personal information very seriously. All stored customer information is protected from unauthorised access through the use of passwords, user log-ons and other security procedures. We will only disclose your personal information to third parties in line with the Privacy Statement in our General Terms and Conditions, or if you have otherwise authorised us to do so. For further details on how SBS Bank collects, uses and discloses your personal information, please refer to SBS Bank General Terms and Conditions.

Online Banking Security

If your internet banking password is entered incorrectly three times, access to the service will be blocked. This prevents anyone making multiple attempts to guess your password. You can reset your password by calling us on 0800 727 2265. If your internet banking is idle for 10 minutes the system will time-out and you will have to re-enter your information.

SBS Bank is a member of the New Zealand Bankers Association and is subject to the Code of Banking Practice. The Code of Banking Practice sets out important information about our relationship with customers. This includes important information in relation to PINS and passwords, along with internet banking. For further details please refer to the Code of Banking

We recommend you

» Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software on your computer
» Keep your software up to date. 
» Memorise your passwords and never write these down.
» Clear your temporary internet files and cache. 
» Please ensure that ‘cookies’ are enabled for your web browser.

Remember SBS Bank staff will never ask you for your Internet Banking Security Information either in person, in writing (including by email) or over the phone.

Keeping Yourself Safe in the New Age

The Romance scam - What does it look like?
"I met a new American partner online and although she was based overseas we communicated a lot
by email and text and over several months I came to believe we could be together. She wanted help
getting her family’s possessions transferred from Ireland and I sent money through to help. On the
day the possessions were supposed to arrive in the US I got a message saying she had been arrested
and requests for help continued to come through. I now realise the money has been lost."

How to avoid a romance scam

» Be cautious about who you communicate with online. It may be weeks or months before the first mention of money is raised but keep your wits about you.
» Never respond to requests for money. Users of popular dating apps which match users with others located close by have reported rapid requests for financial help including ‘petrol money’.
»  Never send money to anyone you do not know or have not met in person. Many romance scammers operate from overseas and any request to send payment offshore should raise a warning flag.
» If a new romantic contact is not willing to meet up or comes up with a series of excuses to avoid meeting in person, you should be cautious about their intentions.
» Avoid giving out personal details, including financial information and identity documents such as a scan of your passport or driving licence which can be used for future scams.
» If you think you are being scammed, stop all contact and avoid sending further payments. Contact NetSafe or New Zealand Police for advice.

Back in the early 1900’s American bank robber Willie Sutton, reputedly replied to a reporter’s inquiry as to why he robbed banks by saying “because that’s where the money is.” Today it would be more accurate to ask fraudsters, why do you scam bank customers? The answer would be, “it’s an easier target than a bank’ NZ Banks spend much time and effort to ensure banking technologies are safe and secure. Banks and customers are a partnership. Everyone has their part to play to ensure secure banking for all.

Use strong passwords

Aim for maximum characters in your password and use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. You should have separate passwords for all online accounts and change your password regularly (90 days). 
Never share your passwords with anyone.
You are the only person that needs to know your password.

Think before you click on a link

Phishing or social engineering attacks are increasingly being used by cyber criminals to trick internet users into revealing sensitive information. Banks will never ask for your internet banking login or password details via email or phone. Banks will never ask you to log into internet banking via a link in an email.

Update software

Your computer and smartphone need regular security updates to keep running smoothly. 
Make sure the operating system is up to date.
Use the latest version of your web browser available.

Back up your files

Back up your data regularly, keep the backup secure and confirm that the process works. USB sticks, blank CD/DVD’s and online storage services are options you could use.

How do you avoid being a scam victim?

»  Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits or email messages from individuals asking for information. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organisation, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company.
»  Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.
»  Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the web site address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g.
com vs .net).
» If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Do not use contact information provided on a website connected to the request; instead, check previous statements for contact information.

Some Common Scams Targeting New Zealand

The following information is provided by NetSafe (visit or call toll-free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723) – NetSafe are here to assist New Zealand internet users stay safe online. NetSafe provide independent advice to anyone that requires help or assistance

Cold Calling (phone) Scams

Cold calling (phone) scams (e.g. Computer technician, Power companies, Government departments). It is becoming increasingly common for scammers to cold call and offer a range of fake products or services. Some of these offers can be very compelling and scammers often have local knowledge and phone numbers. Their objective is either: to directly defraud you, to gain information from you to defraud you later, or gain information to use to defraud people or businesses associated with you. Scammers will often claim to be calling from reputable organisations and Government agencies. One of the most common phone based scams involves fake computer technicians. Fake Government officials offering refunds and payments, or making immigration based threats are also common. Scammers often do enough research to provide comments about local events and weather;

»  The scammers who call often know quite specific details about you and have gained this information through public and stolen data sources;
»  Modern telephony options enable foreign companies to provide local calling numbers at low cost. This same technology is used by scammers to pretend to be based in New Zealand; and if the scammer is purporting to be from an agency that you do work with – hang up. Call that agency back on a number you looked up and talk to them. Do not call them back on the number they provided.

Investment Scam

"I was contacted by an overseas broker suggesting I could buy shares in a company soon to list on the stock market. They had documents suggesting the floatation was genuine and many shares were being purchased. They also sent me a passport scan for the broker to confirm they were a genuine person and I believed the share offer and the company was real. Once I had invested the money the company disappeared and I can no longer contact them.”

Scams and Fraud

SBS Bank has a designated team that looks after any threats regarding scams and fraud and constantly monitors policies and procedures to help protect your accounts.

If you have any questions please phone us on 0800 727 2265 or email


Emails / calls from us

August 1, 2018: Email to our SBS Star members promoting our Refer a Friend Offer Click here to view the email.

July 30, 2018: Email to members living outside of New Zealand requesting confirmation of foreign tax residency status .  Click here to view the email.

July 27, 2018: Email to members from Nielsen and SBS Bank inviting them to participate in a research survey.  Click here to view the email.

July 17, 2018: SBS Bank email to members promoting refer a friend offer.  Click here to view the email.

July 16, 2018 - Ongoing: SBS Bank commenced its Member Satisfaction survey "We'd love to hear how we're doing." Click here to view the email.

July 4, 2018: SBS Bank sent an electronic mail encouraging Members to register for Internet Banking. 

December 11, 2017: SBS Bank is conducting a survey on credit cards. Please contact us on 0800 SBS BANK if you have any queries.

July 31, 2017: SBS Bank email to members with a new term investment offer. Click here to view the email.

April 26, 2017: SBS Bank email to Members advising of some changes. Click here to view the email.

April 26, 2017: SBS Bank email to Members advising of Mobile Banking App launch and Upgraded Internet Banking. Click here to view the email.

March 28, 2017: SBS Bank email to some members to advise of upcoming changes. Click here to view the email.

March 23, 2017: SBS Bank email to some members to check contact details are current. Click here to view the email.

March 16, 2017: SBS Bank email to some members to check contact details are current. Click here to view the email.

March 10-14, 2017: SBS Bank email to members with a 3.80%p.a. term investment offer. Click here to view the email.

March 1, 2017: SBS Bank sent members a secure message in Internet Banking advising them to add their mobile number within their Internet Banking profile.

January 30-31, 2017: SBS Bank email to members with a 3.85%p.a. term investment offer. Click here to view the email.

December 22, 2016: SBS Bank Cromwell branch sent an email to some of its members to advise of local community event. Click here to view the email.

December 20, 2016: SBS Bank email with Season's Greetings and Christmas open hours. Click here to view the email.

December 1-2, 2016: SBS Bank email to members with a 3.80%p.a. term investment offer. Click here to view the email.

November 14, 2016: SBS Bank sent an email to some members about changes to Electronic Credits. Click here to view the email sent.

November 2, 2016 to November 7, 2016: We are phoning some members regarding a research survey.

October 3, 2016: SBS Bank sent an email to members with a 3.80%p.a. term investment offer. Click here to view the email sent.

September 23, 2016: SBS Bank sent a quarterly email newsletter to its members. Click here to view the email sent.

August 24, 2016: SBS Bank Timaru branch sent an email to its members inviting them to visit the new address. Click here to view the email sent.

August 5, 2016: SBS Bank's new CEO, Shaun Drylie, sent an email introducing himself to members. Click here to view the email sent.

July 25, 2016: SBS Bank sent an email to members inviting them to complete a research survey. Some members may receive a phone call. Click here to view the email sent.

May 23, 2016: SBS Bank sent an electronic email requesting members to select their Annual Report option (postal or email).  Click here for a sample.


If you are concerned that an email from SBS Bank is not genuine, please contact us directly on 0800 727 2265 or forward the email to

A copy of the current Southland Building Society (SBS Bank) Disclosure Statement along with our Term Investment Terms & Conditions and QFE Adviser Disclosure Statement are available on request and free of charge from any branch or agency of SBS Bank or on this website
© Southland Building Society, 2016