Remote Access Scams

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Have you had a call from someone who asked you to download and install programs to your device recently?
  • Did the caller claim to be a well-known telecommunications provider?
  • Did they claim your IP address has been compromised?
  • Maybe YOU called THEM?
  • Did you allow them to remotely access your device?
Did the caller claim to be a well-known telecommunications provider?

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?

Did they claim your IP address has been compromised?

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.

Maybe YOU called THEM?

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?

Did you allow them to remotely access your device?

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.

Common deception techniques

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:

  1. Disconnect your device from the internet, and do not reconnect until you have had your device checked by a qualified IT expert.
  2. If remote access occurred while connected to your home wifi, turn off the modem at the wall to remove any unauthorised access to it. Consider changing the password to your modem.
  3. Immediately speak to your financial institution. Explain that your identity has been compromised and ask what provisions and security measures they can place on your account.
  4. Go to IDCARE’s Learning Centre and research how to get free copies of your credit reports and how to place credit bans. In Australia and New Zealand there are three Credit Reporting Agencies, and each may have a different report about 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).

Relevant IDCARE Fact Sheets

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 is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber incident community support service. IDCARE is a not-for-profit and registered Australian charity.
  • The Services provided do not constitute legal advice. IDCARE recommends that you consult your own legal counsel in relation to your legal rights and obligations, including but not limited to your legal rights or obligations under Australian and international privacy and data protection laws.
  • While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the content provided, to the maximum extent permitted by law all conditions, terms, representations, and warranties (in each case, whether express or implied) in connection with the provision of the Services which might otherwise be binding upon IDCARE are excluded.
  • IDCARE’S liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person or organisation (including, without limitation, any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage) arising out of or in connection with the Services (including without limited liability for any negligent act or omission, or statement, representation or misrepresentation of any officers, employees, agents, contractors or consultants of IDCARE) shall be limited to the fees paid by you to IDCARE in respect of the Services. For the avoidance of doubt, this limitation of liability extends to any liability arising from any actions performed or not performed as a result of any recommendations made in the course of providing the Services.
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IDCARE is here to provide you with specialist support and guidance when faced with a cyber and identity related issue. Contact one of our Identity & Cyber Security Case Managers to learn more about our Support Services and how we can help you.   

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