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What is a job and unexpected money scam?

An employment scam is when you are offered a job that requires an upfront payment for training, materials or stock and the job does not exist or you are unable to earn enough to recoup your investment. The fake employer may steal your information by requesting things like a copy of your Driver’s Licence or Passport, as part of the application process.

An unexpected money or winnings scam is when you are asked to pay money up front or give your personal details to receive money or a prize. These scams are also commonly known as inheritance, Nigerian prince, rebate, scratchie, travel prize, lottery or unexpected money scams.

Examples of scams*

Frank was sent this SMS text message saying he had received £6,500,000. He had not entered in any competitions but had family who lived in the UK so thought one of them may have entered on his behalf.

He clicked on the link in the SMS text message, which asked him for some additional personal information. It also provided instructions on transferring £250.00 to claim the prize money.

Frank did not receive the prize money and never saw his £250.00 again. He is also worried what the scammers might do with the personal information he provided.

Signs this may be a scam

You have unclaimed inheritance or have won a prize.

If you receive “authentic” looking documents saying you're owed money, an inheritance or you've won a prize, do not give personal details or pay money. Research details on the internet or only call numbers you trust.

Pay for training before starting a new job.

Do not act on instructions to provide extensive personal information or pay for training and starter kits prior to starting your new job. This may be a scam leaving you out of pocket or your identity stolen.

You're required to find other investors/employees to make money.

Do not engage in these types of jobs. This may be an illegal pyramid scheme where profits are mainly made from new people joining the company or system. 

Make transfers on a client’s behalf through your own account.

Do not agree to a job that pays commission to make transfers on a client’s behalf via your own account, cash, wire transfers or crypto currencies. This may be money laundering and is a federal crime punishable by imprisonment.

What you can do if you
come across a scam

Let us know

Get support and stay in the know

  • IDCARE provides free, confidential support and guidance to those impacted by fraud, scams, identity theft or compromise. Call them toll-free on 1800 595 160 or visit
  • Keep up to date on scams by subscribing to the government's scam email alerts from
  • Check out our latest scams, for copies of recently reported scams at

Latest Scams

To stay in the loop, and stay protected, check out our list of the latest phishing scams impersonating Westpac.

Report a scam

If you receive any suspicious calls, emails or SMS, or notice unusual activity on your account, it’s important that you let us know.

Security Wellbeing Check

To help keep you up to date with the latest security features, we’ve introduced the Security Wellbeing Check in the Westpac App.

Things you should know

* Examples are based on one or more real scam reports received by Westpac. For privacy purposes real names have not been used.