G&C Mutual Bank is proud to support Scams Awareness Week, which raises awareness of scams that may affect you such as remote access scams. Scammers design these scams to gain access to your computer and steal your personal details.
Scammers usually call pretending to be from a large telecommunications or IT business to convince you that there’s a ‘problem’ with your computer or internet and you need to buy software to fix it. They may claim your device has a ‘virus’ or that you have been ‘hacked’, or they may even pretend to need your help to catch a scammer.
The scammer will request remote access to your computer to find out what the problem is, or convince you to buy unnecessary software that they will offer to install remotely. They will ask you to download a program to enable them to access your computer and everything on it.
If you give them remote access, they can install malware and steal your personal information including your documents and passwords, as well as tracking what you do online and restricting your access to the system.
Remember, you can still receive scam calls even if you have a private number or are listed on the Australian Government’s Do not call register. Scammers can still obtain your number fraudulently.
How to protect yourself
- Be alert
- If you receive an unexpected call about your computer and remote access is requested—hang up immediately.
- Say no
- Never allow anyone remote access to your computer, even if they claim to be from a well-known company such as Telstra or the NBN Co.
- Never give personal, banking or online account details to anyone over the phone, unless you made the call using a trusted phone number.
- Secure your devices by keeping your operating system, software and plug-ins up to date, and install current antivirus software.
- Protect your accounts and WiFi network with a secure password.
- Research first and only buy software from a source you know you can trust.
- Back-up your data regularly and securely. The Australian Cyber Security Centre explains how to back up your data.
If you believe someone has gained access to your personal information, even if the scam appears unrelated to your finances, you should contact your bank immediately. A timely response can be critical in giving you the best chance to stem any loss.
- If you have concerns about your G&C Mutual Bank account contact us on 1300 364 400.
- If you have been the victim of identity theft, IDCARE - Australia and New Zealand’s not-for-profit national identity and cyber support service, can guide you through the steps to reclaim your identity. Contact them on 1300 432 273 or visit idcare.org.
- If the scam occurred on social media or a legitimate website, report it to the platform involved. For scams on Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, see this step-by-step guide for reporting scams on Facebook services.
- You can find out how scams work, how to protect yourself, what to do if you’ve been scammed or report a scam to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) via the Scamwatch website.