Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the spread of coronavirus to exploit and play on the fears of consumers across Australia.
Scammers are doing things such as falsely selling coronavirus-related products online, and using fake emails or text messages to try and obtain personal data.
Other scams include phishing emails and phone calls impersonating the World Health Organisation, government authorities, and legitimate businesses – including travel agents and telecommunications companies.
Current common types of coronavirus scams
- phishing emails and phone calls impersonating entities. These include the World Health Organisation, government authorities, people confirmed to have the coronavirus, and legitimate businesses such as travel agents and telecommunications companies
- people receiving misinformation about the coronavirus, being sent by text, social media and email
- products claiming to be a vaccine or cure for the coronavirus
- investment scams claiming coronavirus has created opportunities.
Subject lines used in fake emails
- CORONA Virus Update on our Premises ID
- Coronavirus Sensitive Matter
- COVID-19 update
- COVID info #
- Covid_19 medical support
- COVID_19 Designated Free Testing Centres in your Locality
- COVID-19 alert id
If you’ve been scammed
Here’s what to do if you think you’ve been scammed:
- Contact your bank or financial institution
- Report it to ScamWatch
- For government information on COVID-19, head to health.gov.au
- Centrelink and the ATO will only send communication via the myGov portal. You will likely receive a text message to alert you to a new message but they will not include a hyperlink in that message.
- Use trusted sites for online shopping, that offer recourse if you are unhappy with your purchase or the goods are faulty. These include most of Australia’s online retailers and eBay.
- Check out ScamWatch to see the latest known scams and how to avoid them.