Know the warning signs of a remote access scam and stay vigilant.

We keep hearing examples about people falling victim to remote access scams.

You can prevent this from happening to you by familiarising yourself with the warning signs and by staying vigilant.

What is a remote access scam?

It involves allowing someone, who poses as a service professional, to gain online access to your computer or device.

Below are some warning signs of a remote access scam:

  • You receive a phone call you out of the blue and the claims to be from a large telecommunications or computer company, or a technical support service provider.
  • They tell you that your computer is experiencing technical problems and they need remote access to sort out the problem.
  • They ask you to buy software or sign up to a service to fix the computer.
  • They ask for your personal details and your bank or credit card details.
  • They are very persistent and may become abusive.

Unless you have initiated contact to report an issue, organisations such as telecommunication and computer companies or any financial institution will not request access to your device.

If you have reported a problem and want to ensure that the person on the other line is a representative of the relevant organisation, hang up and call them back via the number that is published on their official website.

What are the impacts of a remote access scam?

These include:

  • Financial loss - Most times, the fraudster will say that they are charging a small fee but will attempt to scam you of hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. It is very rare that you will be reimbursed by their financial institution as you have willingly handed over your personal information.
  • Cost associated with repairing your computer or device – You will need to take your computer to be checked for viruses after a remote access scam.
  • Stolen data and personal information – When a fraudster has remote access to your computer, they can access personal information such as emails, saved documents, identification information as well as bank and superannuation details. In some cases, the fraudster can downloaded viruses on your computer that can capture information.

I’m a victim of a remote access scam. What should I do?

Immediately notify your financial Institution, including your super fund.

If you’re a member of Australian Catholic Superannuation, call us on 1300 658 776. We can also assist even if you’re not entirely sure that you’ve been scammed.

For more information on other types of fraud, visit our Security page.