New rebate scam targets home and car owners

Feb 10, 2022
These new scams are convincing. Source: Getty

On Wednesday, February 9, Scamwatch released information about a new rebate scam that could target anyone.

The scam, being circulated on communication application WhatsApp, tells users that their bills can be paid by the scammers, and they will give you a discount to pay them back.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, rebate scams “try to convince you that you are entitled to a rebate or reimbursement  from the government, a bank or trusted organisation”.

ScamWatch says:

“The scammer approaches you with a false claim that you are entitled to a reimbursement or rebate, such as for overpaid taxes, bank fees or some sort of compensation. The contact may come by mail, telephone, email, text message or social media.

“They will pretend to be from the government, a bank or trusted organisation, and will ask you to make a small initial payment to cover ‘administration fees’ or taxes, in order to claim the amount owed to you.

“If you hand over your money, you will lose it and not receive any rebate. If you provide your credit card or banking details, you may find that more is taken out than expected.”

ACCC says that the warning signs that communication you’ve received may be a scam are:

  • You receive a contact out of the blue that claims you are eligible for a rebate.
  • The caller or sender pretends to be from a government department, financial institution or trusted organisation.
  • In order to receive your money, you are asked to pay an upfront fee to cover ‘administration fees’ or taxes.
  • The scammer will typically ask you to send the money via a money transfer service.
  • You may also be asked to provide personal or financial details.
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