Email, SMS messages and phone calls are popular methods. These methods work in similar ways. The aim is to trick you into installing hostile programs (Malware) and giving the scammer your personal details, log-on information or access to your computer. Such attempts are known as phishing or spear phishing. Some scams may appear genuine.
If you receive a message, email or phone call that seems appealing and tries to convince you to do something, you should assess the characteristics of the message before either replying, clicking on that link, opening an attachment or answering personal questions.
Here’s a quick summary of the key points that can be used to reduce the risk and protect yourself from scam emails:
- Treat unsolicited emails or emails from unknown sources with caution and do not reply to them.
- Do not open suspicious texts or click on links or attachments in emails received from unknown or unexpected sources.
- Never provide information such as passwords, tax file numbers or bank account details via email links.
- You can contact an organisation by phone to check whether an email is legitimate.
What to do if you think you may have been scammed
Contact your bank. If you think you may have sent money or personal banking details to a scammer, contact your bank immediately.
Seek advice and support for scams that impersonate Services Australia brands like Centrelink, Child Support, Medicare and myGov. If you have given personal information to a scammer pretending to be any of these brands, contact the Services Australia Scams and Identity Theft help desk on 1800 941 126 or email reportascam [at] servicesaustralia.gov.au.
Recover your identity. If you think you’ve been the victim of identity theft, act quickly. For advice, contact IDCARE on 1300 432 273 or use their free Cyber First Aid Kit to help you work out what to do.
For additional information and to report scams go to: