A remote access scam occurs when your device, usually your phone, is accessed via downloaded software. Sounds like something you wouldn’t fall for, right? Don’t be fooled; this can happen to anyone. Remote access scams involve a victim being contacted by a scammer, usually by phone, stating they represent an organisation.

Usually, they claim to represent a large and well-known organisation. The caller will request the victim to download software or an application to their device – this could be a computer, laptop, mobile phone, or tablet. This software or application then allows remote access to the caller. The software then allows the caller to operate your device whilst they have access. During the call, the caller will likely ask the victim for their Bank card numbers or ask the victim to log in to their Internet Banking account.


Once access has been granted to banking services by the victim, the caller then can steal money from the victim’s bank account by operating the Internet banking account remotely.

In the case that 2-factor authentication may be required to make a payment, the scam caller will either coerce the victim to supply this code, or they may access this code remotely if the victim has allowed access to a mobile phone device.


What are the consequences of a remote access scam?

Victims of a remote access scam often lose money from their Bank accounts, either via unauthorised use of their Bank cards, after card details have been supplied, or due to transfers made by the scammer via their Internet Banking accounts, after access has been granted by the victim. In some cases, the loss can be an extremely significant value. The remote access caller may make several calls to the victim over a period of a few days and once again coerce the victim into allowing access to their Internet Banking account each time.


Once the scammer has gained remote access, they can install other types of malware to your device, such as keyloggers. Keyloggers mean further passwords to other online-based accounts may also be compromised. 


If the caller obtained ID information, victims of a remote access scam might also become victims of Identity theft. Some Victims may have copies or details of their ID documents saved on their devices, which the scammer can access remotely.


There are different variations of this type of scam. However, they all have similar characteristics. We’ve made vetting your calls easy with our spot a scam checklist:


  • Is this an unexpected phone call from a large or well-known organisation?
  • Have you received a pop-up whilst online stating you have issues with your computer and to call a phone number?
  • Is the caller purporting to represent tech or telecommunications companies such as Microsoft, Telstra, NBN, Australian Tax Office, Amazon or eBay? There are several other types of organisations that the scammer may use to seem genuine, even Banks.
  • Most commonly, a scammer claiming to represent a telco or tech organisation may claim you have issues with your internet service or even have Viruses or threats on your device.       
  • Is the caller making threats to you or using harsh and intimidating language? They may even be claiming there is a warrant for your arrest.
  • Does the caller want you to download an application from the app store, download software from a website or emailed link, or asked you to follow any instructions on your computer or device?
  •  Is the caller asking you to log in to your Internet Banking accounts or asking for your Bank card details?
  • Has the caller asks for any ID information, such as your driver licence?


Remain prepared and up to date with the following scam safety checklist. 



  • Keep anti-virus software up to date, and schedule regular scans on your devices.
  • Update your operating systems regularly when an update is available.
  • Never give a caller your Bank card details, Internet Banking login credentials, or your ID information.
  • Never allow a caller to have remote access to your device/s.
  • If you have received a call and are unsure if it could be a scam – ask the caller to hang up, and you will call the organisation back – always use the organisation’s phone number as per their official website.
  • If you have become a victim of this scam, report it to your Bank immediately.