Frauds and scams

Watch out for scams involving phone calls or emails from people pretending to be AUSTRAC staff. They usually demand payment or personal information and sometimes threaten imprisonment. Emails can feature the AUSTRAC logo in an attempt to appear legitimate.

Signs of a scam

There are certain things AUSTRAC will never do. You should be suspicious of a call or email that:

  • asks you to pay a fee or tax to authorise release of funds to your bank account
  • asks you for documentation regarding imported goods
  • tells you we have intercepted your package at the border
  • tells you that you’ve won a lottery
  • threatens you with arrest if you don’t pay a penalty
  • asks you to pay penalty fees by money transfer
  • tells you we are freezing accounts or transactions
  • says you can avoid prosecution by paying penalties.

If the phone call or email does any of these things, you can be sure it hasn’t come from us.

If you want to check whether a call is legitimate, contact AUSTRAC.

What to do if you receive a scam call or letter

If you receive a scam call or email, don’t engage with the scammer. Do not:

  • phone them back
  • reply to the email
  • click any links
  • download any files.

Report it

The content on this website is general and is not legal advice. Before you make a decision or take a particular action based on the content on this website, you should check its accuracy, completeness, currency and relevance for your purposes. You may wish to seek independent professional advice.

Last updated: 1 Aug 2023
Page ID: 54

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