A phishing email has been circulating during the pandemic in Australia. Australians are being warned to look out for phishing scams during the coronavirus pandemic, with a new dodgy email making the rounds. The email, which appears to come from Services Australia, targets vulnerable Australians who are seeking welfare payments.
Thousands of individuals and businesses have applied for financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are writing to bring to your knowledge the allocation of your subsidy benefits,” the scam email reads. “Kindly affirm your eligibility by simply replying to this secure message appropriately, as listed below.”
The phishing email asks for personal and financial information including a person’s first and last name, date of birth, tax file number and address. Police are investigating scams promoted by the Federal Government's COVIDSafe app. It also asks for a copy of the person’s driver’s licence or passport and a copy of their Medicare card.
A spokesperson from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned scammers can impersonate government agencies via phone calls, text messages or emails. “Scammers are pretending to be government agencies providing information, or offering to help you with applications for financial assistance or subsidies related to COVID-19,” the spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au.
Here is a copy of the phishing email below:
The COVID-19 pandemic has scammers coming up with new ways to target Australians. In just one week in April, more than 500 phishing reports relating to COVID-19 were received by Scamwatch.
'Press Delete or Hang Up'
“Don’t reply to suspicious emails, open any attachments or click on any links – even if it appears to come from a trusted source,” the ACCC spokesperson said. The ACCC advises people never to respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal or financial details, even if they claim to be from a reputable organisation or government authority.
It's important to make sure your users are educated on how to stay safe in times of crisis. New-school security awareness training will help your users spot the warning signs and report potential phishing emails.