Aussies put on alert over new Centrelink scam falsely promising ‘one off’ payments

May 23, 2024
Services Australia said millions of pensioners are being targeted by fake sites that share misleading information. Source: Getty Images.

Older Australians have been warned to be on the lookout for a new scam making the rounds, offering fake Centrelink payments that are designed to steal personal information from vulnerable users.

Services Australia said millions of pensioners are being targeted by fake sites that share misleading information, promising aged pensioners ‘one-off’ or ‘bonus’ payments of up to $1800.

The government agency warned on Monday, May 20 that some users have been directed to click on links which take people through to fake sites designed to steal their sensitive data.

“There are unofficial websites and social media accounts online,” Services Australia warned.

“They’re sharing false information about bonus Centrelink payments. You might read about a new ‘one off payment’ or ‘bonus payment’ for people on the Age Pension.

“The only genuine Services Australia and myGov websites are and

“We’ll always let you know when there are changes to any of our payments or services. We’ll let you know on our official website and official social media channels.

“If you’re not sure if Centrelink information you’ve seen online is real, search our genuine website. Type into your trusted web browser. You can also check by calling us or asking us on social media.”

Australians are being increasingly targeted by scammers with those aged over 65 seeing a recent increase in losses to scams compared to any other age group, losing over $120 million in 2023.

This is despite reports from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that showed that scam losses reported between January to March this year have declined by 11 per cent compared to the same time last year.

For those who want to stay one step ahead of scammers and protect their personal information, the National Anti-Scam Centre suggests the following precautionary measures to avoid falling victim to such malicious activity.

STOP – Don’t give personal information or act on investment advice from someone you have only met online. Don’t feel pressured to invest. If you have any doubts, stop communicating with them.

THINK – Ask yourself if you really know who you are communicating with? Scammers can use different profile pictures and lie about who they really are, especially online. Do an internet search of the person’s name or photo to see if it’s a scam.

PROTECT – Act quickly if something feels wrong. Contact your bank immediately if you have invested money. Help others by reporting scams to Scamwatch.


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