Scam Phone Calls

How to identify scam phone calls

Follow our tips and advice on how to spot current scam phone calls and what to do next.

What is a scam phone call?

Telephone-based scam callers often claim to be from well-known organisations such as Telstra, the Government, or other brands or organisations you’re likely to have heard of.

These scam callers will often try to convince you of the urgent need to follow their instructions. Sometimes they will try to convince you to give them access to your computer remotely, such as when pretending to be a Telstra employee. Often, they will apply inappropriate pressure, including threats and potentially inappropriate language, as part of their scam.

What to look out for:

  • Calls from people impersonating employees from well-known organisations, such as the Government, or familiar brands and companies.
  • Calls seeking financial details, such as your credit card or banking details, in order to process a refund or other ‘overpayment’.
  • Call quality may be poor, and the caller may be difficult to understand.
  • Callers which attempt to apply a lot of pressure, urging you to take immediate action to address a problem.
  • Calls offering to place a number on the Do Not Call Register for a fee. This is a free service.
  • Callers advising that your computer has a virus or is attacking others.
  • Please note, we won’t call you for a service or technical matter unless you contact us first. To find out what Telstra will contact you for, refer to our verification page.

Example of scam phone calls

  • Calls imitating the Australian Federal Police that require your assistance to help them track down criminals and partake in criminal investigations. In these calls you’re often asked to transfer money overseas using international money transfer services.
  • Calls asking for bills to be paid via prepaid gift cards – such as iTunes and Westfield – on behalf of a credit agency representing Telstra or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
  • Calls imitating support desk staff looking to access your computer by pretending to know your CLSID. This is a non-unique identifier which scammers try to pass off as something only a legitimate support person would know.
  • Calls asking you to provide the security ‘one-time-code’ that you received via SMS. Telstra will never call and ask you for this security code. The only time you may be asked to verify your ‘one-time-code’ is if you’ve Messaged Us in My Telstra, or if you’ve called us on 13 22 00.

What to do next:

  • If you're not sure that the person on the other end of the phone actually is who they say they are, hang up and call the organisation by using their official published contact details.
  • If the caller is claiming to work for Telstra, do not share your personal information, credit card or online account details over the phone, unless you made the call and the number you called came from a trusted source, such as the contact details provided on your bill, or go to contact us.
  • Don’t respond to missed calls from numbers you don’t recognise. Calling back may result in instant charges in excess of $20.
  • Be wary of phone numbers beginning with ‘190’. These are charged at premium rate and can be expensive.
  • Be careful of being tricked into calling expensive international phone numbers.
  • If you think something’s not quite right, just hang up. If it’s an SMS, delete it and don’t reply.
  • Report it. Submit a Report Misuse of Service form and include as much detail about the call and caller as you can remember. Our Cyber Security team will investigate the report and may be in touch if they have additional questions.
  • Stay up to date with the latest information on scams at Recent scams or enter in your browser.
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