skip to log on skip to main content
VoiceOver users please use the tab key when navigating expanded menus
Article related to:

Life Hacks

'Hi Mum, it’s me' (your devoted scammer)

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2023-05-08 00:00

Estimated reading time
5 min

In this article

  • Top tips to combat scammers
  • Playing your part in keeping loved ones safe
  • Latest online scams

The text message you receive reads like this: "Hi Mum, it’s me. I’ve lost my phone. I’ve been blocked by my bank and need you to send some money! Can you help asap?"

Only, it’s not your child at all. It’s your dedicated scammer playing on your vulnerabilities and desire to help your family members.

This is one of many common types of scams, known as the ‘Hi Mum’ scam. This involves online criminals getting in touch via text message or WhatsApp, claiming to be a loved one who has lost or broken their phone, followed by a request for money to solve an urgent problem.

According to ACCC, scams, such as this ‘Hi mum’ text, are on the rise with a massive 469% increase in losses in 2022 totalling $24.6 million. With scams constantly changing and becoming more sophisticated, no one is immune.

Top tips to combat scammers

Here are three simple steps you can take to further improve your level of security:

1. Use a family code word

    Have a code word that only you and your family have discussed in person. Tell no one. If you receive a message or a call claiming to be from a loved one, ask for the family code word to see if it’s legit.

2. Pause and verify before acting on an SMS, email or phone request

    If an email, call or SMS seems unusual, stop before acting – such as clicking on links, opening attachments or following any payment instructions.

3. When in doubt, stop and call an official number

    Be extra alert if you receive a phone call out of the blue about problems with your computer and remote access is requested, or you are asked to install software in order to access to your device remotely. Hang up, even if they mention a well-known company.

    When in doubt, always call back the company on an official published phone number. You can call ANZ on 13 13 14 within Australia or +61 3 9683 9999 from overseas.

Playing your part in keeping loved ones scam safe

When it comes to scams, prevention is better than cure.

People aged 65 and over are the most vulnerable with just under 50,000 reports of falling victim to a scam with losses of $120 million in 2022 alone, according to ACCC.

ANZ’s Head of Customer protection, Shaq Johnson, suggests that it’s more important than ever to have constant conversations with family to stay on top of the ever-changing scam environment.

“Scams can fool even the most aware among us, the more open the discussion is, the more chance people have to beat the scammers” says Shaq.

Here are some ways you can help keep your loved ones safe:

  • Download and print this easy-to-follow guide on how to protect yourself online (PDF).
  • Familiarise yourself with the latest online scams by visiting security alerts.
  • And lastly,  create a personalised screensaver for your loved ones by following these steps:

Step 1: Pick one of our scam safety tips and write it clearly on a sign for your loved ones to see

Step 2: Take a photo of your child (or family pet!) holding the sign in a portrait orientation

Step 3: Visit your loved ones and send them the photo to install on their phones as a screensaver

Always stay vigilant, and if it doesn’t feel right, sit tight, and contact us.

'Hi Mum, it’s me' (your devoted scammer)
Financial Wellbeing Coach

Find out more information here

About scams



The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.

ACCC source: