Scams

We actively work to make sure you are informed of the growing threat of scams. There are many types of scams. In general, most scams appear to involve:

  • obtaining money or confidential information from you, for example, disclosing your customer reference number, login details, bank details, Medicare card numbers and
  • asking you to pay fees or transfer money to receive a Government bonus, payment or grant. The scammer usually requests money to be transferred overseas

6 types of scams have been identified that may affect you. These are:

  1. email scam
  2. advance payment scam
  3. phone number scam
  4. fraudulent investment scams
  5. departmental payment scams
  6. guaranteed employment scams

Email scam

This scam involves an email being sent to you claiming to be from the Department of Human Services. The email asks you to validate your email address by clicking on a link.

This email is not from us.

What to do

Do not open the link. Delete the email immediately.

If you have clicked on the link and entered your details, you should contact us.

Advance Payment scam

This scam occurs when you are contacted by someone who claims to be our employee and advises you to transfer money into a bank account in order to receive a lump sum payment.

You are given a phone number by the scammer to track the progress of your claim. The phone number is usually an Australian number. Upon calling this number, you are told by the scammer that they have called us and we are assisting with the payment process.

When no money is transferred into your account, you are then told by the scammer who is incorrectly claiming to be our employee that more money is required to receive the payment.

What to do

We will never ask you to transfer money to receive a lump sum payment.

Do not provide your credit card or bank details online or over the phone if you are unsure about the validity of the contact.

Report scams to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or call 1300 795 995.

Phone number scam

This scam involves a scammer claiming to be from a telephone company calling you and offering you a special deal because of the type of payment you receive from us. The scammer tells you that you may lose your payment if you fail to transfer money as instructed. The scammer will generally be calling from an international number.

What to do

Be wary of any unsolicited phone calls from international numbers, and if in doubt, hang up. We do not have any arrangements with telephone companies to offer special deals if you receive a payment from us.

Be cautious if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the government. If you are concerned, get that person’s contact details and phone back using one of our advertised phone numbers.

If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

You can report scams to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or call 1300 795 995.

Fraudulent investment scams

Serious and organised criminals are using the internet to provide false legitimacy in their attempts to target the retirement savings of Australians, including superannuation. They are typically in the form of unsolicited cold calls used with sophisticated hoax websites to try to legitimise the scam.

We are in partnership with the Australian Crime Commission, and we’re urging Australians to protect themselves against serious and organised fraudulent investment scams.

What to do

You can protect yourself by hanging up on any unsolicited suspicious calls you receive that are offering investment opportunities. You should thoroughly investigate and research any investment offer and:

  • visit the MoneySmart website or call 1300 300 630 for information about current investment scams
  • alert family and friends to this type of fraud, especially anyone who may have savings to invest
  • report suspected fraud to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, via MoneySmart website or 1300 300 630, or your local police. Any information that can be provided such as company name, location and contact details will assist
  • hang up on unsolicited telephone calls offering overseas or domestic investments
  • check that any company you are discussing investments with has a valid Australian Financial Services Licence at the MoneySmart website
  • always seek independent financial advice before making an investment

More information

You can also visit the Australian Crime Commission website to find information about serious and organised investment scams.

Departmental payment scams

This scam involves a person calling you and identifying themselves as an employee of the department , advising you that you owe us money but you are asked to deposit money into an account before the funds can be released.

Another variation has been identified, where a person posing as an employee has requested money to be transferred to them. They have claimed that, in return, you will receive call credits, refunds or be represented in legal proceedings.

What to do

We will never ask you to deposit money in order to receive a payment.

Be cautious if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the government. If you are concerned, get that person’s contact details and phone back using one of our advertised phone numbers.

Guaranteed employment scams

This scam involves the advertising of high paying jobs on a public website.

Department of Human Services’ customers, particularly jobseekers are deliberately being targeted. The advertisement suggests that employment can be secured once you pay a deposit for a course that does not exist.

If you are being targeted, you will receive a number of emails relating to fake jobs and information about course details. You will at some stage be asked to pay a deposit into a specified bank account. Communication stops if you make a payment.

What to do

We will never ask you to deposit money in order to receive a payment or to secure enrolment within a Departmental endorsed course.

Beware of job offers that require you to pay an upfront fee.

Do not send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust. 

Be cautious if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the government. If you are concerned, get that person’s name and telephone them back using one of our advertised phone numbers.

More information

Read more about income scams on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission SCAMwatch website.

Protect yourself

We may telephone, SMS or email you from time to time. If we do we will introduce ourselves clearly. We may have to ask you questions so that we can be sure we are talking to the correct person.

We will not ask you to either:

  • transfer money, or
  • provide passwords or PIN numbers to bank accounts

Never transfer money to someone unless you made the contact using details you have found yourself and you trust the other party.

If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

Customers using our online services should also protect their information by keeping their login details private, regularly changing their password, and using up to date firewall and antivirus software to protect their computer.

You can report scams to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or call 1300 795 995.

More information

Read more about how to protect yourself from scams on the:

For fraud, theft or other crimes, please contact your local police station or the Australian Federal Police.