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How to report a scam or cybercrime

If you’ve been scammed or think someone is trying to scam you, you can report it online.

Type of scam How to report
If you’re the victim of identity theft or cybercrime For help call the Australian Cyber Security Hotline on 1300 292 371 or make a report through RebortCyber. Learn about what you can report to ReportCyber.
If the scam originates in NSW and you know the name of the business or trader Make an online complaint to NSW Fair Trading or call 13 32 20
If you are not sure about where the scammers are from Report the scam to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)
For overseas or interstate scams Report the scam to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)

What to do if you’ve been scammed

Scams can cause emotional harm and financial hardship. If you think you’ve been scammed:

  • immediately stop any contact with the scammer
  • report the scam as soon as you can
  • contact your bank or financial institution to cancel all cards and accounts that may have been breached.
  • write down any details you get about the scammer (phone number, email, website address or car registration plate number) to help with any investigations
  • tell your colleagues, friends and family about your experience and what you’ve done about it.

Learn more about where to get help if you've been scammed.

If your identity has been stolen, you can also access free, personalised support.

Identity theft and credit reporting

Cybercriminals may try to access your personal information to steal money or commit fraud. For example, they may apply for loans and credit in your name, without you knowing.

Learn more about identity theft.

Check your credit score

Checking your credit report is one way to find out if someone has tried to steal your identity.

You can request a free report, every 3 months, from all official credit reporting agencies (CRAs).

Learn more about

Apply for a credit ban

If you think you may have been the victim of identity theft or fraud, you can apply for a credit ban to stop unauthorised access to your consumer credit file.

This means that credit reporting agencies are not able to give your information to any credit providers unless you provide written consent for them to do so, or if they are required by law.

Learn more about credit bans.

How to spot a scam

Scammers may contact you by phone, SMS, email, social media or in person (for example, they may come to your door).

Scammers may try to:

  • steal your money, or
  • gain access your personal or private information to commit fraud (this is known as identity theft).

Common scams

Types of scams to watch out for include:

  • buying or selling scams (often via fake websites, ads on online classifieds or social media)
  • dating and romance scams (often via dating websites, apps or social media)
  • fake charities seeking donations
  • fake investment opportunities and ‘foolproof betting systems’
  • jobs and employment scams where you are ‘guaranteed’ employment
  • unexpected money coming your way (inheritance and rebate scams)
  • unexpected refunds or winnings (including lottery tickets, prize giveaways).

Learn how to spot the scam signs.

Identity theft and cybercrime

Cybercriminals use computers, mobile phones or other online devices to target individuals, businesses, organisations, critical infrastructure and governments.

Cybercrime can include:

  • attacking and gaining access to computer systems (hacking) or asking for remote access to your computer
  • email spam and phishing
  • distributing offensive and illegal content (including images or videos)
  • fake online profiles
  • computer viruses, malware and ransomware
  • cyberbullying or harassment.

Learn more about

COVID-19 scams

The eSafety Commissioner provides information and advice on a range of COVID-19 topics including:

  • media, misinformation and scams
  • tips for parents
  • keeping schools and learning safe online
  • tips for older Australians
  • advice for women experiencing domestic violence

For older Australians, there are free webinar presentations covering subjects such as:

  • shopping and banking
  • staying safe on Facebook
  • protecting against scams
  • staying safe online – COVID-19 edition
  • connecting to others.

Find out more about the topics available and register for free online safety presentations.

Business scams

Scammers may target organisations and businesses to gain access to money or data, such as personal information about customers.

Some examples of scams that businesses experienced are:

  • false billing
  • health and medical product scams
  • investment scams
  • online shopping scams
  • classified scams.

Common types of online scams and 'cyberthreats' affecting businesses include:

  • malicious software (malware)
  • scam emails (phishing)
  • ransomware.

Learn more about cyberthreats or how to protect your small business.

Example of an email scam

The image below shows an example of a fake NSW Government email.

By pretending that you can get money by acting quickly, the scammer tries to trick you into immediately clicking on the link in the email so they can, for example, steal your personal information.

Signs that this is not an official NSW Government communication include:

  • The email address (servicensvv@protonmail.cn) is suspicious. Official NSW Government email addresses typically end with 'nsw.gov.au' or the domain name of the government agency.
  • The email is written in an informal style and full of 'urgency' but lacks specific details. An email from the NSW Government would not be written like this. For example:
    • there are spelling and punctuation errors
    • the subject line ('NEW NSW GRANT - Apply NOW!') is in capital letters
    • the email is addressed to 'Customer' rather than using a person's name
    • it refers to the customer being 'eligible for a $5000 covid grant' but does not provide specific details about the name of the program or what it’s for, and why the customer is eligible
    • it tells customers to 'act now' but does not give a closing date for the grant
    • it is signed from the 'NSW GOVERNMENT' instead of the person, business unit or agency that is sending the email.
Example of an email scam

Example of an SMS scam

The image below shows an example of a fake text message (SMS).

By pretending that urgent action is needed, the scammer tries to trick you into immediately clicking on the link in the SMS.

Signs that this is not an official NSW Government communication include:

  • it has spelling and punctuation errors (for example, ‘protec’ instead of ‘protect’ and ‘Service NSW account’ instead of ‘MyServiceNSW Account’)
  • the sender's name (that is, the NSW Government department or agency) is missing
  • the first word is 'ALERT!', which is a typical trick that scammers use to pretend something is urgent
  • the text calls for action 'ASAP' but does not mention how the account was breached and when, or the timeline for action
  • the website is 'service.nsvv.com.au', which is not an official NSW Government website address.
Example of a mobile text scam