The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning consumers to beware of scammers imitating Department of Human Services or Centrelink officers to trick you into handing over your money or personal details.
“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,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“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,” Ms Rickard said.
“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.