Impersonation Scams

Impersonation Scams

An impersonation scam is where a scammer pretends to be a friend, family or even a trusted business like MyState Bank. They use calls, emails and text messages. They’re designed to appear legitimate and trick unsuspecting customers into disclosing their personal information or unintentionally allowing access to their online banking.

How does it work?

At first the person may appear helpful, even offering to remove viruses they have detected on your computer or mobile device. They may even ask you to help ‘catch the hacker’ by transferring your own money to an instructed account, creating a money trail.

They soon apply pressure tactics and create a sense of urgency surrounding their request, communicating dire consequences if you do not participate. You may be asked to provide or confirm your personal information, click on a link in an email/SMS, download an app, share your account or online banking details; or allow them to remotely access your computer or mobile device.

Impersonation scams, particularly bank scams, have contributed to a growing loss across the financial industry, with customers acting under the instruction of somebody posing as a bank representative.

Warning Signs:

  • There is a sense of urgency or scare-tactics used during the call or contact, coercing you into acting on impulse instead of giving you time to think first.
  • Common tactics used by these scammers to create a sense of urgency include: detected threats of suspicious activity, unauthorised access by a third party or transactions and threats to block your account if you don’t respond or co-operate.  
  • You’re asked to download remote access software to your computer, mobile device or both, allowing the caller access to your devices.  
  • The caller takes control of your computer or mobile device, asks you to log into online banking to check your money is safe, then instructs you to leave the room or turn your mobile device face down so you can’t see what happening.
  • The caller asks you to transfer money to an account to ‘keep it safe’ or for ‘further investigation’.

 Things to remember:

  • Never click on links, open unknown attachments or download instructed apps or software.
  • Always access your online banking via the MyState app or through our official website (
  • MyState will never contact you and instruct you to transfer money to another account to keep it safe.
  • Never disclose SMS verification codes delivered to your mobile to anyone – not even us.
  • If you receive a call claiming to be MyState, terminate the call, independently locate our contact number and call us back to verify the legitimacy. 
  • MyState will never ask you to update or verify your personal or banking information via email or SMS.

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed:

  1. Act fast to report the scam and prevent loss:
    If you have made a payment to a scammer, or think you have provided your details to a scammer, contact MyState immediately to report the scam and any attempted or authorised transactions.
  2. Protect your Online Banking access:
    Turn off the power to your computer or shut down your mobile device.
    If you have provided remote access or worried about threats on your computer or mobile device, seek help from a qualified and reputable computer technician.
  3. Get help to recover:
    Contact IDCARE, the national identity and cyber support service who can help you make a plan (for free) to limit damage.
    Call them on 1800 595 160 or visit to find out more.
  4. Warn others and report the scam:
    Once you have secured your personal details and your account, share your experience to help stop the scammers by lodging a report with Scam Watch.
    You can also make an official report to Police online. This helps government agencies warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scammers where possible.