Seniors in South Australia and Western Australia have been alerted to the existence of a fraudulent website that is suspected of deceiving and imposing charges on seniors seeking the Seniors Card.
The fraudulent website, which claimed to be “officially approved” attempts to levy a $29 fee from applicants for the Seniors Card.
Despite attempts from scammers, official government websites have made it clear that applying for a Seniors Card is free and doesn’t require seniors to share their banking details.
The South Australia Government Seniors Card website issued a warning about the scam, urging older Australians to remain vigilant and take action should they find themselves the victim of scam activity.
“Seniors should be aware that the legitimate SA Seniors Card is always free of charge and applicants are never requested to pay a fee, or disclose their bank, credit card or PayPal details in exchange for membership,” the statement read.
“The official SA Seniors Card website is www.seniorscard.sa.gov.au. Applicants should look for the official Government of South Australia roundel and official Seniors Card logo to ensure they are accessing the correct website before proceeding with an application for membership.”
The website advised those who have provided payment to the unofficial website to take the following steps:
Those who believe they have fallen prey to the scammer’s activity are urged to be on alert for “secondary scamming” in which victims may be contacted by a scammer impersonating an organisation such as a bank.
“Be alert and if you’re unsure, hang up and call your bank directly to confirm the contact was legitimate,” they warned.
Be aware of a scam website attempting to charge applicants a fee for a Seniors Card. The only official website for SA Seniors Card is https://t.co/Q2vSDRLwZp
— SA Health (@SAHealth) September 1, 2023
In Western Australia, Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch and Commerce Minister Sue Ellery also warned seniors of the existence of the scam website, www.seniorsportal.au, urging WA seniors to be aware that the legitimate WA Seniors Card website, www.seniorscard.wa.gov.au, will never request payment.
Applicants should look for the official State crest to ensure they are accessing a trusted and secure website before proceeding with an application for membership.
Commerce Minister Sue Ellery said, “This bogus site is yet another example of the insidious methods employed by scammers to take advantage of vulnerable people.”
“As always, I urge people to exercise caution and ‘practice the pause’, which involves stopping to think before clicking on a link or attachment in an email or transferring any hard-earned money,” Ellery said.
“I urge all Western Australians to become scam smart, spread the word about how to identify and avoid scams and contact Consumer Protection if in need of advice.”
Previous reports from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have indicated that people aged 65 and over have often reported the highest losses to scams, with losses increasing with age.
When it comes to avoiding falling victim to scam activity, the ACCC suggests the following: