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Increased reports of scammers calling to access your computer

Priority Level: 
Moderate
29 August 2018

What's happened?

Watch out for the latest scam doing the rounds. Scammers are impersonating a well-known company to try to convince you to give them access to your computer and your online bank account.

ScamWatch has seen a recent spike in these ‘remote access scams’, where people receive calls from scammers who claim to be from companies like Telstra, NBN, Microsoft and even the police. The scammers spin a story to try to convince people that their computer is being used to send scam messages and, with the victim’s help, they can track them down.

Once they have access to the victim’s computer, they use the victim’s bank account to transfer money, claiming that this will help to catch the (fake) scammer. In reality, this money is being transferred to the caller’s own bank account.

Does it affect me?

Scammers are calling landline and mobile phones.

If you receive one of these calls, the scammer might threaten you, saying that there could be legal consequences if you don’t help. This is a bluff to try to keep you on the call.

How do I stay safe?

If you receive an unexpected call requesting access to your computer, for any reason, you should immediately hang up.

Never give an unsolicited caller access to your computer or online bank accounts.

More information

If you have given your credit card details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

We also encourage you to report scams to the ACCC's ScamWatch and ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network).