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Beware of scams

How to detect a scam and protect yourself

Page reading time: 2 minutes

A scam is when someone tricks you out of your money. Scammers are skilled at pretending they are real and that they can help you in some way.

How to detect a scam

Here are the main signs of a scam:

A scammer may ask you to:

How to protect yourself from scams


If you are contacted unexpectedly, stop and think before you respond.


Check if the contact is from a real person or organisation.

Look for their publicly listed phone number. Or, if you know the person, call them directly and ask if they really contacted you.

Regularly check for suspicious transactions on your bank accounts, credit report, and online shopping accounts.


If you suspect something is not right, act fast. Block or delete the text or email, or hang up the call.

Do not send any money. Or, if you have sent money, contact your bank or financial institution straight away to report the scam.

Warn your family and friends about it and watch out for any follow up 'offers' to recover your lost money.


To protect yourself from scammers, follow these tips:

What to do if you've been scammed

If you've been scammed, follow these steps to take action.

  1. Don't send any more money. Block all contact from the scammer.
  2. Contact your bank or financial institution immediately to report the scam. Ask them to stop any transactions.
  3. Warn your family and friends about the scam.
  4. Watch out for potential follow up scams with 'offers' to get your money back if you pay more.

If a scammer has your personal information, contact IDCARE on 1800 595 160 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm). They can help you make a plan (for free) to limit the damage.

Being scammed is a horrible experience. If you need someone to talk to (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

Get help if you need it

There is free help available, if you need it: