8 August 2022
An increasing number of Australians are being targeted by extortion scams. In an extortion scam, a scammer threatens to release valuable private information or get you into trouble unless you provide a form of payment or service to them. These scams are designed to frighten you into handing over your money, and can even include threats to your life.
There are many types of extortion scams. A perpetrator could obtain something private of yours through deceptive means, such as passwords or private personal images (image-based abuse). They could threaten to release these to the public unless you pay money or do something for them.
Scammers may also impersonate government officials from agencies like Centrelink, Services Australia and the Department of Home Affairs claiming that you have overdue fees to pay, and scare you with the threat of arrest.
To help you stay safe from extortion scams, here are 7 tips.
If you are contacted by someone trying to extort you, get in contact with the Police immediately. If think you have provided your Heritage Bank account, card or internet banking details to a scammer, contact Heritage as soon as possible on 13 14 22.
Once you’ve protected yourself and your money, you can also report scams to the ACCC and report harm caused by online abuse or illegal and restricted online content to eSafety.gov.au/report. This helps protect others from similar scams.