Terrifying new Covid-19 scam hitting thousands of Australians – here’s how to spot the fraudsters
A terrifying new scam affecting thousands of Australians involves warning about getting tested for Covid – here’s how to spot the fraudsters
- New Covid-19 text message circulates, leads to fake Medicare link
- Authorities are urging people not to click on the link and instead remove it immediately
- So far, criminals have stolen $10 million in 6,415 Aussies Covid-19 scam
Australians have been urged to watch out for a vicious new scam warning them to get tested for Covid.
Services Australia has issued the warning, saying that fake messages have been sent that appear to be from Medicare and that recipients are being redirected to an untrustworthy link to order ‘a free PCR kit’.
The message did not appear until June 2022.
The text of the fake message reads: “Medicare: You have been in close contact with someone who has contracted Omicron,” news.com.au reported.
“You must order a free PCR test kit,” reads the fake message.
Australians have been warned to beware of a vicious new Covid-19 hoax SMS as it is revealed that Aussies have been scammed nearly $10 million in Coronavirus-related scams (pictured, a screenshot of the fake SMS).
So far, 6,415 scams citing Covid-19, worth nearly $10 million, have been reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) during the pandemic
Services Australia warned people not to click on the fake link as it could contain malware.
Instead, they should remove the hoax message immediately.
The authority said it does not ask customers to click through to links from text messages.
Scammers may ask you to confirm your details by opening an internet link or responding with personal information.
“We will never ask you to click on any links or attachments, except links: on our website, on our official social media accounts, in your myGov inbox, once you are logged in.”
The sheer magnitude of the Covid-19-related scams is shocking.
Scamwatch has received more than 6,415 scam reports reporting the coronavirus with more than $9,800,000 in reported losses since the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus), according to the ACCC website.
In phishing scams, criminals steal confidential information, such as online banking and other logins and passwords, and credit card information after you click on fake links
Covid-19 criminals routinely impersonate government agencies in their posts to try to get unsuspecting people to provide personal information
“Common scams include phishing for personal information, online shopping, and pension scams.”
Phishing scams involve criminals stealing confidential information such as online banking and other logins and passwords, and credit card details.
Scammers are posing as government agencies providing information about COVID-19 via text messages and emails ‘phishing’ for your information, the ACCC said.
“These contain malicious links and attachments designed to steal your personal and financial information.”
Some of the scams ask for payment for: vaccines or to ship vaccines.
Others are trying to get recipients to donate money as “an investment opportunity in the Pfizer vaccine.”
There are also some fake Covid-19 surveys that look real.
Anyone who has been scammed is requested to report this.
Scamwatch urges everyone to exercise caution and remain alert to coronavirus-related scams,” the ACCC website said.
“Scammers hope you’re not on your guard. Do not provide your personal, bank or pension details to strangers who have approached you.’