Protect yourself from remote access scams

Remote access scams usually occur through a phone call or email, where a scammer claims they are from a reputable company such as a telecommunications company, energy retailer or even a bank. In this phone call or email, the scammer asks you to download software that provides them remote access to your phone or computer for ‘maintenance’ purposes.

Once a scammer has remote access to your phone or computer, they have full access to your device to download malware such as a keylogger. A keylogger records each key that you press so it can capture confidential information such as Internet Banking login details.

For up-to-date information on current scams in Australia, you can visit scamwatch.gov.au.

Always remember

Hand halt

Pause

Don’t act straight away. Stop and think about what you’re being asked to do. 

Look up

Review

Have a look on Google and make sure the company that is calling you is real. If it is, are they calling from the official number listed on their website?

Tip: You can always hang up and call the number listed on the official website to verify if the call you received is legitimate.

Person with a question

Ask

If you’re still unsure, show a family member or friend and ask for their opinion before taking any action.

How can I recognise a remote access scam?

Scammers are coming up with new and creative ways of hijacking your computer and your personal information. Keeping an eye out for the following red flags could help you to determine if what you have received may be a scam.

Scammers might:

call you out of the blue and claim they’re from a well-known business
even ask you to call them through a random pop-up bubble on your computer
say there is a problem with your computer or internet connection
say that you have been overcharged for a product or mistakenly credited money
use technical language to convince you they are legitimate
ask you to download an application to your computer to fix a problem
be very persistent for you to follow their instructions.

How do I protect myself?

As many of us are working remotely, we rely on our computers more and more on a daily basis. It is important to keep up with scam trends and know how to identify, avoid and protect yourself from falling victim to remote access scams. Here are a few handy tips.

Remember to:

keep your computer up-to-date with a good firewall, antivirus software and regular software updates
not download software on your computer without doing your research on it before
never feel pressured into acting immediately
never provide personal information over the phone unless you are completely sure the caller is legitimate
trust your gut – if something feels off, chances are it probably is.

I think I’ve been scammed, what should I do?

If you think you’ve been scammed and potentially lost money or given personal banking information to someone you should not have, please contact our friendly customer service team immediately on 1300 654 822 and they will assist you.