Covid text message scam that’s fleecing thousands of Australians out of cash

Scammers are using a fake Covid-19 text message seeking charity donations for Christmas to fleece thousands of Australians out of cash.

NSW Health issued a warning on Tuesday of three scams being used to swindle people out of money ahead of the holiday season.

‘[We are] aware of Covid-19 scam text messages asking for donations or confirming positive Covid-19 test results,’ they said in a statement online.

‘NSW Health is also aware of a scam asking for donations for BreastScreen NSW, which is a part of NSW Health.

NSW Health issued a warning on Tuesday after becoming aware fraudsters were using Covid-19 scams to swindle Australians out of cash

NSW Health issued a warning on Tuesday after becoming aware fraudsters were using Covid-19 scams to swindle Australians out of cash

‘NSW Health will never seek donations or notify people of positive COVID-19 results by text message. If you test positive for COVID-19 you will get a phone call from NSW Health as a priority and told what to do next.’

However, NSW Health said when it does ring it may be on a private number. 

‘You might be contacted from a private number so please pick up private calls when waiting to hear back about test results,’ NSW Health said.

‘If you think you have received a scam text, please report it online at http://crimestoppers.com.au or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 (24/7).’

Since the start of the outbreak, government-run agency Scamwatch has received over 5170 scam reports mentioning coronavirus, with almost $6.3million in reported losses. 

Common scams have included phishing for personal information, online shopping, and superannuation scams.

‘Scamwatch urges everyone to be cautious and remain alert to coronavirus-related scams,’ their website reads.

‘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.’

Scamwatch has received over 5170 scam reports mentioning coronavirus, with almost $6.3million in reported losses since the outbreak began. Pictured: a nurse conducts a swab at Bondi's test clinic on November 4

Scamwatch has received over 5170 scam reports mentioning coronavirus, with almost $6.3million in reported losses since the outbreak began. Pictured: a nurse conducts a swab at Bondi’s test clinic on November 4

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