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
You should warn your friends and family about scams. If you’re a business, let your industry association and other contacts know about the scam.
Contact your financial institution
If you've 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.
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 1800 595 160 (if in Australia) or 0800 121 068 (if in New Zealand)
- 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.
|Type of incident||Agency|
|Banking||Your bank or financial institution|
|Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support and myGov related scams||Services Australia Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk - call 1800 941 126|
|Financial and investment scams||Australian Securities and Investments Commission|
|Fraud and theft||
Your local police - call 131 444
In Victoria call your local police station
|Image based abuse (sextortion),
cyberbullying and illegal content
|Office of the eSafety Commissioner|
Sextortion where the victim is under 18 years
|Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation|
|Spam||Australian Communications and Media Authority|
|Tax related scams|
Get help from Australian agencies
For tips about online safety and security and an Australian Government directory for where to get help see the Be safe Be alert online quick reference guide.
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 the How you can report scams on Facebook services - guidance for Australians from Facebook.
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.
- Access Canberra
- Consumer Affairs Victoria
- New South Wales Fair Trading
- Northern Territory Consumer Affairs
- Queensland Office of Fair Trading
- South Australia Office of Consumer and Business Affairs
- Consumer, Building and Occupational Services Tasmania
- Western Australia Department of Commerce—Consumer Protection
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.
When you need support in a crisis, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24/7) or visit www.lifeline.org.au
For information about depression or anxiety, contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or visit www.beyondblue.org.au
Free professional telephone and online counselling for anyone affected by suicide. Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
Telephone and online counselling and support service for young people aged between 5 and 25 years. Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Telephone and online support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns. MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78