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Beware of Covid scams

Scamwatch has received over 3600 scam reports mentioning the coronavirus with over $2 382 000 in reported losses since the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Common scams include phishing for personal information, online shopping, and superannuation scams.

If you have been scammed or have seen a scam, you can make a report on the Scamwatch website, and find more information about where to get help.

Scamwatch urges everyone to be cautious and remain alert to coronavirus-related scams. Scammers are hoping that you have let your guard down. Do not provide your personal, banking or superannuation details to strangers who have approached you.

Scammers may pretend to have a connection with you. So it’s important to stop and check, even when you are approached by what you think is a trusted organisation.

Visit the Scamwatch news webpage for general warnings and media releases on COVID-19 scams.

Below are some examples of what to look out for.

These are a few examples, but there are many more.  If your experience does not match any of the examples provided, it could still be a scam. If you have any doubts at all, don’t proceed.

Phishing – Government impersonation scams

Scammers are pretending to be government agencies providing information on COVID-19 through text messages and emails ‘phishing’ for your information. These contain malicious links and attachments designed to steal your personal and financial information.

In the examples below the text messages appear to come from ‘GOV’ and ‘myGov’, with a malicious link to more information on COVID-19.

Examples of phishing scams impersonating government agencies

Scammers are also pretending to be Government agencies and other entities offering to help you with applications for financial assistance or payments for staying home.

Tips to protect yourself from these types of scams:

  • Don’t click on hyperlinks in text/social media messages or emails, even if it appears to come from a trusted source.

  • Go directly to the website through your browser. For example, to reach the MyGov website type ‘my.gov.au’ into your browser yourself.

  • Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal or financial details, even if they claim to be a from a reputable organisation or government authority — just press delete or hang up. more information at https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/

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