An important warning for every over 60 – don’t get caught out!

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today sent us another warning about a scam that older Australians are particularly susceptible to.
Lifestyle

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today sent us another warning about a scam that older Australians are particularly susceptible to.

Deputy Chair of the ACCC Delia Rickard says,“The ACCC has received a spike in contacts about fake rebate scams in which the scammer claims to be from Centrelink or the Department of Human Services.

“One hundred people contacted the ACCC about this scam last month, compared with 20 reports in May. Four people have reported losing over $3,000 to this scam in the past six months, with 300 contacts in that time.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today sent us another warning about a scam that older Australians are particularly susceptible to.

Deputy Chair of the ACCC Delia Rickard says,“The ACCC has received a spike in contacts about fake rebate scams in which the scammer claims to be from Centrelink or the Department of Human Services.

“One hundred people contacted the ACCC about this scam last month, compared with 20 reports in May. Four people have reported losing over $3,000 to this scam in the past six months, with 300 contacts in that time.”

The aim of this scam is to either extract enough personal information from you to either steal money or use your identity to do so.

The ACCC describes how the scam works:

You receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Department of Human Resources or Centrelink.

The caller tells you you are entitled to more money but you must provide some personal details to prove your identity. At this point the scammer attempts to gather as much as they can about you for identity theft.

If you provide these details the scammer will then ask you to send money directly via a wire transfer service and or may even direct you to your nearest Post Office to pay the ‘fee’.

The scammer may claim that your Centrelink payments will be cut off unless you pay the fee.

If you send any money via wire transfer, you will never see it again – it’s nearly impossible to recover money sent this way. You will also never receive the promised rebate or refund. If you refuse to do this, the scammer might use any bank details you provided to access your bank account directly and attempt to steal your money. These details may also be used in the future for identity theft.

Ms Rickard says, “If you receive a phone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from a government department and they claim that you are entitled to money, hang up.”

“If you have any doubts about the identity of any caller who claims to represent a business, organisation or government department, contact the body directly. Don’t rely on numbers, email addresses or websites provided by the caller – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.”

“Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately,” Ms Rickard said.

Report scams by calling 1300 795 995.

Were you aware of this scam? Do you know someone who might not? Be sure to let them know! Have you experienced a scam? What did you do? 

  1. Never give anyone your personal information either on the net or on the phone, tell them you will hang up and ring Centerlink to verify it and hang up. If it is legitimate Centerlink or any other organization will tell you on the phone when you contact them

    • Libbi Elliot  

      while they are making money out of people’s naivety they will continue, it really is a disgrace Sue that they get away with it

  2. If you ever get a phone call from anyone claiming to be from any Government agency ask to speak to the supervisor. If someone claims to be the supervisor ask him/her for a landline phone number and you will call him/her back. If the person tries to argue with you it is obviously a scam, as if genuine the person would be only too happy to give you a landline phone number. Note, landline, not mobile number.

    • David James That is exactly what I said, David. YOU ask the caller for their landline. If the caller tries to argue or won’t give you a landline then the call is definitely a scam call.

    • Annette Elliott I don’t think a government dept would be asking for you to leave a message. “Hold” maybe, but not a message.

    • Basically being told on the message you will be called back. This was for the people who think everything OK if they give you landline no.

    • Anne Mitchell We used to do that at Centrelink at the call centre. When it was busy, they were asked to leave a message and we would get back to them after 5.00pm.

    • Bill Pollock Well, I give up. So far, asking for a supervisor/landline to call when I have been rung by “Government dept.” has worked for me. The caller usually hangs up after being very rude, which makes me smile a bit. Another way of identifying these scam calls is to ask a question, any question, it doesn’t matter what. The scammers will not let you get a word in try and talk over you.

  3. Had one this morning telling me I had won a credit from Qantas for $9099.99 they were Indian and I got rid of them very quickly……bloody Mongrells…..

    • Dianne, my Qantas call was from a machine, but it seems I too have “$9099.09” credit. Hubby and I had just return home on a Qantas flight. Someone less aware of scams could easily have been tricked.

    • Yes Ann mine was a machine as well, then I hung on the line and she asked if I had a pen and paper to write down some details. I politely told them I’m not interested and hung up…..

    • I get home from work and find automated messages on my answering machine. I just delete them.

  4. There are people out there putting other people’s photo on here saying they have lost there wife looking for a wife after a few weeks they start asking for money etc please lady’s be careful ask questions don’t always believe what they say when they are from a different country they are scammer attacking the lonely

  5. This happened to me at home at least four times in the past months ago. Female said the Tax Office owed me $7000 – and I responded that’s great – but they need it more than me lol

  6. You would have to know it isn’t for real that don’t phone if you have a my goc account you may get a message doubt it if they owe you money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *