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Be Aware of COVID-19 Scams

The internet is a great tool for fending off the feeling of isolation, allowing us to socialise, study, shop and be entertained online. To make the best of staying at home, it is important to ensure you can find reliable information and that you are aware of COVID 19 scams.

Don’t be ripped off by the online offers — currently there are no vaccines for COVID-19, but there are lots of dodgy pills and fake remedies.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s Scamwatch has received multiple reports of COVID-19 themed scam texts. The text messages appear to come from ‘GOV’ as the sender and they include a link to find out when to ‘get tested in your geographical area’ for COVID-19.

Don’t click on text message links about COVID-19, even if they look like they are from the government — scammers are exploiting the hunger for information to spread malware and phishing scams. Australian Government agencies will never send a text containing weblinks.

Be suspicious of COVID-19 emails too, especially if you do not recognise or trust the address. They could contain a link to a fake website where you are encouraged to enter confidential details that scammers use to steal your money.

To stay up to date on the latest online threats and how to respond, you can sign up to the Stay Smart Online Alert Service. In addition, the website of the Office of the e-Safety Commissioner has much relevant and practical advice.

Sources: Office of the e-Safety Commissioner, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

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