Professional scammers are exploiting unsuspecting individuals with offers to fix account, phone, or computer issues, resulting in increasing financial losses through remote access scams. By convincing victims to download well-known screen-sharing software, criminals gain control of devices and siphon funds. Australians lost $15.5 million in 2023, with older demographics bearing the brunt of the losses.

How to spot the scam

Be cautious of unsolicited calls claiming device issues and impersonation of reputable institutions. Exercise caution when prompted to download remote control software.

Here's how the scam operates:

Victims without knowing grant scammers control over their devices, who then fabricate issues and coerce victims into divulging sensitive information. This access allows scammers to pilfer funds without detection until victims log in again.

Protect Yourself:

STOP – Avoid rushing into action. Hang up on anyone urging you to download software or apps over the phone. Refrain from sharing banking details, passwords, or 2-factor authentication codes during such calls.

THINK – Question the authenticity of the caller. Take time to verify their identity by contacting the business independently using trusted contact details or confirming the employee's legitimacy through secure channels.

PROTECT – Act swiftly if suspicions arise. Contact your bank immediately if you've disclosed financial information or made transfers. Help combat scams by reporting incidents to Scamwatch, assisting others in avoiding similar traps.

If you've been affected: 

Call us immediately on 1300 36 2000 if you have noticed any suspicious transactions or if you have any concerns. Seek support from IDCARE for compromised personal information. Report scams to Scamwatch and inform others to prevent future incidents.