We have a new dedicated phone line if you think you’ve been scammed by someone pretending to be us.
Our new scams and identity theft helpline is now open. You can call the helpline to report a Centrelink, Medicare or Child Support related scam. Our staff can offer support and advice about how to protect yourself.
Scammers often pretend to be from trusted organisations, like ours. They try to scare you into giving them your money or personal details. They’ll try anything, such as threatening you with fines, telling you your payment will stop or even court action.
Rosa tells her story about how she lost money to scammers.
Rosa got a call from someone claiming to be from Centrelink. They told her she hadn’t replied to a letter and now had to pay a $300 penalty. Rosa had never received such a letter.
The caller told her she would need to buy $300 in iTunes gift cards to cover the penalty. If she didn’t, they’d stop her pension.
Rosa asked if she could pay the penalty with cash or by credit card. The caller said that wasn’t possible and convinced her to buy the gift cards.
They then told Rosa someone would call her back for the codes on the backs of the cards. They gave her a number, supposedly in Centrelink’s Canberra office, to call if she had any concerns.
Rosa later realised this was a scam. She’d already given the scammer her pension number and lost $300.
How to tell it’s a scam
Like Rosa, it’s easy to be scammed if you feel threatened and the scammer looks or sounds convincing.
There are ways to avoid a scam:
- if you’re given a phone number, make sure it’s listed on our phone us page before you call it
- keep your personal information safe - for example, you should keep your myGov sign in details private
- hang up if a phone call doesn’t feel right, then call us back on your regular payment line
- don’t respond to emails and messages if they make you feel uncomfortable or threatened
- delete suspicious emails and messages and never click on links or open attachments
What to do if you’ve been scammed
If a scammer has asked you to pay money, buy gift cards or Load&Go credit cards you should:
- report the scam to Scamwatch
- call our scams and identity theft line or connect with us on social media
- write down as much information about the scam as possible
- let your bank know straight away if you’ve shared banking details or transferred money – they may be able to pay you back
- tell your friends and family, scams can target anyone
Read about scams and online security to stay informed.
Read more about:
- protecting yourself from scams on the Scamwatch website
- fake emails and SMS messages on the Stay Smart Online website
- investment, superannuation, financial advice and insurance scam information on the MoneySmart website
- scams and warnings for Indigenous Australians on the MoneySmart website