How can I detect a scam call or SMS?
With scammers becoming more sophisticated, calls and SMS can sometimes appear to originate from a credible source such as a government agency or other well-known organisations. Go with your first instinct and never respond to a request for personal or account information, demand for immediate payment or remote access to a device. Although these calls and SMS can appear to be genuine, credible sources generally don’t ask for this type of information over the phone or in an SMS, so it is important to be vigilant. Scammers may also:
- Claim that you have won a prize
- Use a well-known logo or send an SMS that appears to be legitimate
- Call or SMS multiple times
- Use a recorded message to urge you to return the call
- Add a link in an SMS to get more information
How can I protect myself from scam calls?
If something doesn’t look or sound right, or if something is too good to be true, it usually is. To help safeguard yourself, you should:
- Do not respond to missed calls or SMS from unknown international numbers
- Block any numbers on your phone that you suspect to be a scam call or SMS
- If you don’t know the number, let the call go through to voicemail in the first instance. Then check if the number is from a credible source by searching for the organisation’s official number online before returning the call
- Be careful where you share any personal information in an online setting such as social media
- Avoid clicking on any unknown links in text messages
- Immediately contact your financial institution if you believe you may have lost money to a scam
How do I report a scam call or SMS?
You can contact us directly or make a report to Scamwatch, a division of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Where can I find more information?
The following agencies provide helpful material on scam calls and SMS: