Detecting telephone scams
  •  Cold calls from individuals that claim to be from well-known government and private sector organisations. 
  • Numbers may appear from Australia or New Zealand, but will likely be routed from offshore. 
  • Scammers will look to incentivise individuals to act on something, for example a prize, a grant, an unpaid tax, a virus. 
  • Some may even threaten legal action or money loss. 
  • Scammers will ask you to “prove” who you are or ask for access to your device. 
Preventative measures: 
  •  Good organisations won’t call you and then ask you to prove yourself. 
  • Scam calls can be received from landline or mobile numbers and the “Do Not Call” register will only keep honest telemarketers at bay. 
  • Don’t feel pressured to act. If you think a call may be legitimate take down the person’s name and number and do your own research. Make sure when you hang up you hear a dial tone – some scammers will pretend to hand up and catch you dialling the real organisation’s number only to pretend to answer it (when they haven’t disconnected from the first call). 
  • Don’t think a message left is more legitimate, it’s not. 
  • Hang up if you suspect it is a scam and talk to family or friends about it. 

Responding to telephone scams: 
  • If you believe that you have experienced a telephone scam contact IDCARE for assistance 1300 432 273 (AUS) 0800 201 415 (NZ).
  • Disconnect your device immediately from the Internet if they have gained remote access. 
  • Immediately contact your financial institution(s) and inform them of what has happened. 
  • Engage service providers and ask what additional security can be put in place. 
  • Note down any identifiers of scammers, such as the telephone numbers they have called from. 
  • If you believe you have had your licence, passport or other high-risk credential compromised see our Fact Sheet about Credit Reporting Agencies. 

More information 
  • ‍In June 2018, 45% of individuals experienced a telephone (remote access) scam. 
  • One of the main reasons for believing a telephone scam was the scammer knowing details about an individual (eg. name and address. 
  • Another reason for believing a scam was if an individual was experiencing issues with their internet or device. 
download fact sheet

Disclaimer © 2018 Copyright Identity Care Australia & New Zealand Ltd. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this FACT SHEET, IDCARE disclaims any liability to any person in respect to any actions performed or not performed as a result of the contents of the alert or any accompanying data provided. Note our service is free to the community and our Counsellors will never ask you to provide your personal information and credentials if we make contact with you.

Other fact sheets

Our Fact Sheets offer important information on how to prepare, prevent, detect and respond to Identity theft and other cyber related issues.
ACORN and the Police

ACORN or the Police? Which one to report the compromise of personal information?

view fact sheet
Understanding Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malware (a virus) that encrypts files.

view fact sheet
Telephone Scams

The most prolific form of identity compromise currently impacting the community.

view fact sheet

Success Stories!


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 Counsellors to learn more about our Support Services and how we can help you.   
Call IDCARE Icon


1300 432 273
Mon - Fri : 8am - 5pm AEST

Call IDCARE Icon


0800 201 415
Mon - Fri: 10am - 7pm NZST