Australian travellers of all ages and backgrounds have become victims of scams overseas.
Some scammers are opportunistic, taking advantage of Australians already in their destination. Others, especially online scammers, begin their scam while the victim is still in Australia. They often lure their victims overseas with the promise of romance or money.
This page provides general advice on scams and what to do if you're a victim overseas. Explore this page for information about:
- types of travel scams
- what to do if you're a victim of a travel scam
- information for victims of visa scams
- how the Australian Government can help overseas.
The Australian authority on scams is the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Read this general advice as well as the ACCC's advice on ScamWatch.
This page is for Australian scam victims overseas. For information before you go, see our general advice on avoiding scams.
Types of travel scams
Some common travel scams that start while the victim is still in Australia include:
Some common travel scams that start while the victim is already overseas include:
- airport taxi scam
- broken meter scam
- fake accidents
- 'carry my bag' scam
- 'friend in need' scam
- credit card skimming
- damaged property scam, including car or bike rentals.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) operates ScamWatch. It provides information to Australians about how to recognise if they've been scammed. It explains different types of scams and how to report a scam.
What to do if you're the victim of a scam
If you're overseas and have been the victim of a scam, ensure your safety first. Get away from the person or venue that has scammed you, then:
- report the crime to local police, always ask for a police report
- contact your bank or financial institution to block your cards and account
- contact your travel insurance provider.
Most banks and travel insurers have a 24-hour emergency number for Australians overseas.
You could also contact:
- family and friends
- travel agent
- the ACCC to report the scam.
What to do if you're a victim of a visa scam
If you find out you're the victim of a scam visa when you arrive in the country, you may be arrested or detained for trying to enter illegally. You may be deported.
In this case, consular officers at the Australian embassy or consulate can provide consular assistance.
In some cases, you may be deported or able to pay for a valid visa on arrival. We can't assist you in these cases.
How the Australian Government can help
The Australian Government is limited in how and when it can help overseas. If you've been scammed, contact local authorities and seek support from friends and family.
In a consular emergency, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate. if outside business hours, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
- +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
- 1300 555 135 in Australia
Read the Consular Services Charter to understand how and when we can help.
What we can do
- We can give you general information about the local legal system.
- We can provide a you with a list of local English-speaking lawyers.
- We can connect you to Lifeline from overseas for emergency counselling and support.
What we can't do
- We can't give legal advice.
- We can't conduct investigations about the scam.
- We can't report the crime for you, or liaise with the local police on your behalf.
- We can't pay your bills for you if a scammer took all your money.
- We can't loan you money.
- Reduce the risk of being scammed before you go.
- Read the travel advice for your destination.
- See our general advice on what to do if you need money overseas.
- For consular assistance, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate.
- Learn about scams on SCAMwatch (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission).
- Read The Little Black Book of Scams (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission).
- Find out about common tourist traps and travel scams (CHOICE).