Criminals are calling people and pretending to be from the National Anti-Scam Centre.

They tell you that your phone number is being used in a scam in China and offer to help you ‘clear your record’.

These scammers work hard to get your trust, then try to steal your money and personal information.

Hang up on unexpected callers who say they’re investigating a scam.

It's probably a scam: the National Anti-Scam Centre will never ask for money or personal or financial information.

How to spot the scam

This scam can be hard to spot because scammers can make a call look like it’s from a legitimate number.

However, the National Anti-Scam Centre will never ask you for money, financial or personal information, or threaten you.

Anyone calling and behaving like this is probably a criminal. Hang up immediately and report the scam.

A person rejecting a mobile phone call from an unknown number.

How the scam works

  • Someone calls you saying they’re from the National Anti-Scam Centre.
  • The phone call looks like it comes from a legitimate phone number belonging to a trusted organisation, like the government or police.
  • They say they’re investigating a phone number registered in your name that’s being used in a scam in China.
  • These criminals may tell you they work with the Chinese Anti-Scam Centre or Chinese police, and say they will help you ‘clear your record’.
  • They ask you questions to 'confirm you're not involved' in the scam.
  • They may spend a lot of time with you, building your trust.
  • These criminals will try to threaten you to steal your money, financial and personal information.

What you should know

The National Anti-Scam Centre will never ask you for money or personal or financial information.

We will never threaten you.

We will never ask you for:

  • passwords
  • login details
  • one-time codes
  • information that could compromise your identity.

All written communications from the ACCC or the National Anti-Scam Centre will come from an '' email address.

Find out more

This scam is a type of impersonation scam that becomes a threat and extortion scam.

Scammers pretend they are from the government, law enforcement, or some legitimate business.

They use technology (or ‘spoofing’) to make it look like they’re calling from a legitimate phone number.

Find out more about impersonation scams and threats and extortion scams including, what to look for and how to stay protected.

Stay protected

STOP – Don’t give money or personal or financial information. Don’t click on any links if you’re unsure. Say no, hang up, delete.

CHECK – Scammers pretend to be from organisations you know and trust – like myGov, your bank, the police or government. You can check the call, message, or email is real by calling the official phone number of the organisation using contact details you find yourself.

REPORT – The more we talk, the less power they have. Report scams to Scamwatch. By speaking up, you protect others and stop scams before they happen. Better safe than scammed.

If you’ve been affected

There is no shame in getting scammed. It can happen to anybody.

If you’ve had money stolen, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

If you’ve had personal information stolen or need help to recover from a scam, contact IDCARE on 1800 595 160.

If you're feeling distressed and need to talk about it, reach out to Lifeline or Beyond Blue.

If you're worried about your safety or someone else's, call the police immediately on 000 or go to your nearest police station.

Help others by reporting scams to Scamwatch.