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WARNING – Scam callers claiming to represent ACORN

Priority Level: 
30 November 2016

People should be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls claiming to be from the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN). The ACORN is a national policing initiative that allows you to securely report cybercrime incidents which may be in breach of Australian law.

A number of people have reported being contacted by scammers who say they are from ACORN and are making a number of fake claims. These include that the person may be eligible for a payout, or that their computer has been infected and the caller can help to fix it. The caller then asks the person to undertake a risky action, such as provide personal banking information, make payments to third parties, download software onto their computer or allow someone to remotely access their device.

In some cases, people have been directed to seemingly legitimate websites with phone numbers that direct them back to the scammer to convince them of the caller's authenticity.

ACORN has confirmed it will not make contact with individuals after a report has been submitted. Any contact regarding ACORN reports will only come from the police authority that has responsibility for reviewing the matter. Police contacting you about an ACORN matter will not ask you to make payments over the internet, download software or provide remote access to your computer.

If you have concerns about a caller who claims to represent the government or police, you should contact the organisation directly using information that you find through trusted channels. This might include visiting their official website, or calling the official switchboard. Be wary of directions to specific websites or phone numbers that the caller provides you.

Stay Smart Online recommends that you never provide financial or personal details in response to unsolicited calls, emails or other contacts.

More information

Stay Smart Online has information on recognising scams and hoaxes.