MORE  than 8000 people have been scammed out of $4.4 million by people impersonating well-known businesses or the police.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Scamwatch website recorded a significant spike in these types of scams.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said the spike was concerning and sadly older Australians were losing the most money.

"The old trick scammers used to use was to call people and say there was a virus on their computer that needed fixing but, in a new twist, scammers are now telling people they need their help to catch hackers," she said.

"Unfortunately there are many stories from people who give a scammer access to their computer and are then conned into giving access to online banking."

Ms Rickard said if people received a phone call about their computer and remote access was requested, "it's a scam 100 per cent of the time".

She said people should just hang up.


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