Terrifying new scam hitting thousands of Australians involves issuing a warning about getting tested for Covid – here’s how to spot the fraudsters
- New Covid-19 scam text message is circulating, leads to a fake Medicare link
- Authorities urged people don’t click the link and instead to delete it immediately
- So far criminals have stolen $10million in 6,415 Covid-19 scams from Aussies
Australians have been urged to watch out for a cruel new scam warning them to get tested for Covid.
Services Australia issued the warning, saying fake messages have been sent out that appear to be from Medicare and directs recpients to a dodgy link to order ‘a free PCR kit’.
The message only began appearing in June 2022.
The text of the bogus 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,’ the fake message reads.
Australians have been warned to watch out for a cruel new Covid-19 hoax SMS as it is revealed Aussies have been swindled out of nearly $10millon in Coronavirus-related scams (pictured, a screen shot of the fake SMS).
So far 6,415 scams mentioning Covid-19, worth almost $10million, have been reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) during the pandemic
Services Australia warned people not to click on the counterfeit link as it could contain malware.
Instead they should immediately delete the hoax message.
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,’ Services Australia said.
‘We’ll never ask you to click on links or attachments, except for links: on our website, on our official social media accounts, in your myGov Inbox, once you’ve signed in.’
The sheer scale of the Covid-19 related scams is shocking.
‘Scamwatch has received over 6415 scam reports mentioning the coronavirus with more than $9 800 000 in reported losses since the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus),’ the ACCC website said.
Phishing scams involve criminals stealing confidential information, such as online banking and other logins and passwords, and credit card details after you click on fake links
Covid-19 criminals routinely pretend to be government agencies in their messages to try and get unsuspecting people to provide personal information
‘Common scams include phishing for personal information, online shopping, and superannuation scams.’
Phishing scams involve criminals stealing confidential information, such as online banking and other logins and passwords, and credit card details.
‘Scammers are pretending to be government agencies providing information on COVID-19 through 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 request payment for vaccines or for mailing vaccines.
Others attempt to get recipients to transfer money as ‘an investment opportunity in the Pfizer vaccine’.
There are also a number of fake Covid-19 surveys that look real.
Anyone who has been scammed is urged to report it.
‘Scamwatch urges everyone to be cautious and remain alert to coronavirus-related scams,’ the ACCC website said.
‘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.’