Most of these reports are from people whose devices have been remotely accessed by scammers pretending to be from IT companies, telecommunications companies, banks or even from the ACSC, who attempt to access people’s bank accounts, email, and social media channels, usually changing the passwords and locking users out of their accounts.
Scammers often attempt to persuade you to give them remote access to ‘fix an issue’ affecting your system, and they’ll provide a range of scenarios to convince you they need immediate access to your device.
Allowing anyone open access to your devices can, and usually does, end with devastating consequences, resulting in financial loss or losing control of your personal accounts.
What exactly is remote access?
Remote access is where an individual can gain access to a computer, device or network remotely, through an internet connection.
Remote access enables scammers an easy avenue to access personal accounts and information, and once a scammer is in your system, they can be difficult to get out.
Also, even if a scammer does leave your system, they may have installed malware onto your system without you knowing.
How do I protect myself?
It’s important to remember that a reputable company will never ask you to disclose your personal information via email or over the phone, let alone request remote access to your system.
If someone has accessed your accounts, change your passwords as soon as feasible and where possible, implement two-factor authentication on your accounts.
Where can I get help?
If you have been the victim of cybercrime, you can lodge a report with the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).
If your banking information has been accessed, or you have given your bank details to a scammer, contact your bank immediately before taking any other steps.
Scams can be reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch.
Sign up for the Stay Smart Online alert service, a free alert to inform you of the latest cyber threats and how to manage them.
To keep up to date with the latest news and publications from the ACSC, visit www.cyber.gov.au.