The caller might ask if you have experienced slow internet connection speed or interruptions to your service. They might claim you are due for a router, modem or infrastructure (copper to fibre) upgrade. They might even ask you to visit a speed test website. Maybe they wanted to provide you with a refund for this slow service?
The caller might ask you to open a program called event viewer and click on the administrative panel. This would show many errors (which is completely normal). They may convince you that this is due to ‘hackers’ accessing your computer from foreign countries like Russia, China or Indonesia. Sometimes the callers claim they will install a firewall on your computer.
When browsing the internet, a pop-up ad might lock the screen and provide you with a 1800 number to call for tech support.
Perhaps you purchased a new product recently and Googled the number for Microsoft, Norton Anti-virus or Canon Installation Drivers?
Perhaps you were searching for a support number for your internet, email or phone provider?
Maybe you decided you wanted to invest some money into cryptocurrency and called the number on a broker's webpage?
The caller might have asked you to download an app (AnyDesk or TeamViewer QuickSupport are popular) to your computer or smartphone. You would have been requested to provide an access code or PIN so the ‘technician’ could access your device and fix the problems.
If you have received any of these communications recently – you have been targeted by a remote access scam.
Many of these callers will ask you to check if fraud activity has affected your online banking accounts and will request that you login to them. They might then claim that you can help them ‘catch the hackers’ in the act and ask you to forward on a large sum of money. They will then request you send this money to another bank account and the authorities will ‘trace’ this transaction. This is a deception - while scammers have remote access to your device, they can make it appear as though you have received a deposit to the tune of thousands of dollars.
Sometimes the caller will tell you that you are entitled to a refund, perhaps due to slow service speed or you have overpaid an account. They will request you check your bank account to see the funds have been deposited. Often, this may appear to be many thousands of dollars. The caller will then state they have accidentally paid you too much and ask for the money to be returned. DO NOT COMPLY – they are simply editing the HTML of the webpage to deceive you and you will end up transferring your own money to them.
Where investment scams and cryptocurrency are involved, many brokers will call you after you have paid the initial setup fee associated with account creation. They may request you download a remote access program to ‘show you the ropes’ surrounding investments.
The caller may initiate contact with you. Remember – rollout of the NBN is easily searchable via the internet. Scam callers may use this information to target suburbs where the NBN is due for an upgrade or has reported a recent outage.
Never allow anyone to remotely access your device. Be wary of anyone requesting a PIN number or code that appears on your device. Many callers will try to deceive you and others who are not ‘in the know’ surrounding technology.
These callers may often request that you provide a photo of yourself holding your driver licence or passport to verify your identity. You may also be asked to disclose email addresses, phone numbers, residential address or tax details.
If this has happened to you:
If at any time during the scam you were asked to provide your driver licence, Medicare card, passport, tax file number, IRD number, banking or other online account details, or to give remote access to your device, contact IDCARE by submitting a Get Help Form or call 1800 595 160 (Aus) or 0800 121 068 (NZ).
You may also find the following fact sheets useful:
Identity Care Australia & New Zealand Ltd (IDCARE) provides identity and cyber security incident response services (the Services) in accordance with the following disclaimer of service:
IDCARE as a registered charity does not ask individuals to donate or pay for our front line services. We are not a charity that can receive tax deductible donations.
We rely on organisations that care enough about you to care about us to keep our charitable service going. Proudly these organisations are displayed above and on our Subscriber Organisations page.
If you are asked for payment from someone claiming to be from IDCARE, please report this to us using our Report Phishing email.
IDCARE has access to the Department of Home Affairs Free Interpreting Service, delivered by the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National). Access to the Free Interpreting Service is provided to assist you to communicate with non-English speaking people who hold a Medicare card. Please note that the service does not extend to New Zealand citizens or residents who do not hold an Australian Medicare card, or to tourists, overseas students or people on temporary work visas.
New Zealand Relay provides services to help Deaf, hearing impaired, speech impaired, Deafblind and standard phone users communicate with their peers.
A TTY user connects to New Zealand Relay via a toll-free number and types their conversation to a Relay Assistant (RA) who then reads out the typed message to a standard phone user (hearing person).
The RA relays the hearing person's spoken words by typing them back to the Textphone (TTY) User.
The National Relay Service (NRS) is an Australian government initiative that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment to make and receive phone calls.
The NRS is available 24 hours a day, every day and relays more than a million calls each year throughout Australia.
ABN 84 164 038 966
IDCARE acknowledges and Respects the traditional custodians of the land on which we operate across Australia and New Zealand.
This website may contain names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori peoples.