Beware of scams impersonating ASIC and Microsoft

[box]ASIC urges the public to be wary of cold callers claiming to represent ASIC[/box]

Based offshore, these callers claim to be able to assist you in retrieving money lost in an earlier software scam. They may quote an ABN, claim to also represent Microsoft, and in order to receive any funds you will be asked to provide access to your computer and complete an online form.

These calls are a scam, and ASIC warns anyone who is contacted to hang up.

If you think you have been a victim of this scam or believe your account may have been compromised, you should contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell said, ‘We suspect that this scam is the latest attempt by fraudsters to obtain your personal details or trick you into paying money to them.

‘We ask the public to be wary of calls like these and we encourage them to conduct some basic checks before acting on an email or phone call out of the blue’.

Warning signs

  • You receive a surprise call or email claiming you are entitled to a compensation payment or funds recovered from an earlier scam.
  • The caller or sender pretends to be from a real business, government agency or financial organisation.
  • In order to receive the funds, you are required to pay a fee in advance to cover costs such as ‘administration’ fees, ‘bonds or security deposits’ or ‘outstanding taxes’.
  • The scammer will request payment via a money transfer service or your personal or banking information.

Protect yourself

  • If you receive a phone call or email out of the blue claiming you are entitled to reclaim money for a fee, hang up or delete the email and block the sender.
  • Never send money or give your financial details via text message or email or give access to your computer to someone you don’t trust or know.
  • If the caller or sender claims to be from a government agency or financial institution, remember that government departments and financial institutions would never ask you for your personal details via email or text message.
  • If you’ve provided your bank account or credit card details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

Report scams

You can report scams via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by calling ASIC on 1300 300 630.

 More information

Visit ASIC’s MoneySmart website for tips on how to avoid being scammed.

The Australian Government website ( is a safe portal for finding government services.