Remote Access Scams
What is a remote access scam?
A remote access scam is when someone contacts you to request you download software or an app that shares remote access to your device.
What they're after
Remote access scammers are after access to your computer or mobile which will enable them to see the information on your device. Once access is shared, scammers often coerce you to sign into online banking and perform transactions. They may also use this access to steal your personal data or gain access to your friends and family’s information.
Signs this may be a remote access scam
Someone contacts you needing assistance to catch hackers, fix NBN or computer issues, help with secretive tasks or to provide a refund.
Hang up. Legitimate organisations will not require your assistance with any of these scenarios.
An unexpected caller is asking to access your device by downloading software (e.g. Team Viewer, Any Desk or Quick Support). They may ask you not to tell anyone.
Do not follow their directions and hang up.
A caller is asking you to sign into online banking or share security codes.
Hang up. Never sign into Online Banking if you are sharing access to your device. Never share your security codes with anyone.
A caller asks you to make transactions, or 'refund' a deposit you see in your account and coaches you what to say to the bank.
Do not refund. Always be honest with the bank so they can help protect your money.
Financial institutions, government agencies and most organisations will never contact you requesting access to your device, share your passwords, security codes, PIN’s or other personal information via a pop up or a phone call. Never share these with anyone, regardless of the claims being made. Always call organisations back on trusted numbers found on their website or phone directory to validate any of these types of requests.
Who should I contact and examples of remote access scams?
- Please report scams or suspicious activity immediately to Westpac at 132 032 or 61 2 9155 7700 (if calling from overseas).
- Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com or sms/text messages to 0497 132 032 then delete the email or message.
- Report all suspicious activity to the Australian Cyber Security Centre at cyber.gov.au/report.
- Contact IDCARE toll-free on 1800 595 160 or visit their website idcare.org. They provide free, confidential support and guidance to people who have been targeted by fraud, scams, identity theft or compromise.
- Keep up to date on scams by subscribing to the government's scam email alerts from scamwatch.gov.au/subscribe.
- Check out our latest scams, for copies of recently reported scams at westpac.com.au/scams.
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.