Where to get help
If you've lost money to a scam or given out your personal details to a scammer, you're unlikely to get your money back. However, there are steps you can take straight away to limit the damage and protect yourself from further loss.
- Contact people you know
- Contact your financial institution
- Recover your stolen identity
- Report scams to the authorities
- Change your online passwords
- Contact your local consumer protection agency
- Contact a counselling or support service
Contact people you know
You should warn your friends and family about scams. If you are a business, let your industry association and other contacts know about the scam.
Contact your financial institution
If you have sent money or shared your banking details with a scammer, contact your financial institution immediately. They may be able to stop a transaction, or close your account if the scammer has your account details. Your credit card provider may be able to perform a 'charge back' (reverse the transaction) if your credit card was billed fraudulently.
If you are not sure if you're being scammed, stop sending money. Scammers will keep asking for more money until you stop.
Recover your stolen identity
If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, it is important that you act quickly to reduce your risk of financial loss or other damages.
- Contact iDcare - a free government-funded service which will work with you to develop a specific response plan to your situation and support you through the process. Visit the iDcare website or call 1300 IDCARE (432273)
- Apply for a Commonwealth Victims' Certificate - a certificate helps support your claim that you've been the victim of identity crime, and can be used to help re-establish your credentials with government or financial institutions. Visit Victims of Commonwealth identity crime
Report scams to the authorities
We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the Report a scam webpage.
You can also report a scam to the appropriate agency to help them warn the community about scams and take action to disrupt scams.
- Contact your bank. If you’ve sent money or personal banking details to a scammer, contact your bank immediately. Most big banks will cover any loss if someone makes an unauthorised transaction on your account, as long as you have protected your client number and passwords.
- Recover your identity. If you think you’ve been the victim of identity theft, act quickly. For advice, contact IDCARE on 1300 432 273 or use their free Cyber First Aid Kit to help you work out what to do.
- Report scams to Scamwatch. Scams can be reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch.
- Seek advice and support for scams that impersonate Services Australia brands like Centrelink, Child Support, Medicare and myGov. If you have given personal information to a scammer pretending to be any of these brands, contact the Services Australia Scams and Identity Theft help desk on 1800 941 126 or email [email protected]
- Sextortion. If a blackmailer is threatening to reveal intimate images of you online, do not give in to their demands. Report it to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.
- Report to authorities. If you have been a victim of a cybercrime such as fraud, report it to ReportCyber.
- Recover when things go wrong. Read our tips to help you get back up and running.
- Report scams to Facebook services. If you experience a scam on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp you should contact the platform and inform them of the circumstances surrounding the scam. For a step-by-step guide, see: How you can report scams on Facebook services - guidance for Australians ( PDF 459.91 KB)
Change your online passwords
If you think your computer or device has been hacked or infected with malware or ransomware, use your security software to run a virus check if you think your computer has been compromised.
If you think one of your online accounts (e.g. your bank account, email, online shopping account or social networking site) has been compromised, you should change your password immediately. Most reputable websites provide step-by-step instructions for how you can recover a hacked account.
Contact your local consumer protection agency
While the ACCC is the national agency dealing with general consumer protection matters, state and territory agencies may also be able to assist you and also provide scam alerts and information on how to avoid them.
Contact a counselling or support service
If you or someone you know has been scammed, please talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust. You could also contact one of the following counselling or support services.
- Lifeline: When you need support in a crisis, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24/7) or visit www.lifeline.org.au
- Beyond Blue: For information about depression or anxiety, contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or visit www.beyondblue.org.au
- Suicide Call Back Service: Free professional telephone and online counselling for anyone affected by suicide. Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
- Kids Helpline: Telephone and online counselling and support service for young people aged between 5 and 25 years. Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
- MensLine Australia: Telephone and online support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns. MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78