Help protect your patients from scammers

14 March 2019

Talk to your patients about Medicare scams such as fake emails, text messages and websites.

Scammers are getting sneakier, and finding new ways to trick your patients to give them money or personal details.

A scammer may contact a patient by text message or email and their messages appear as if it comes from us. This is known as spoofing. Spoof messages can be very convincing and look genuine. It’s not always obvious it’s a scam.

The good news is there are things you can look for and you can help protect your patients.

It’s not a Medicare email, it’s a scam

Your patient may get a fake Medicare email that looks like this:

When to tell your patient it’s a scam:

  • the email address is not from the Australian Government. Australian Government email addresses end with .gov.au  
  • the content of the email includes a website link. We won’t send emails with live links
  • the website link is only numbers or not from the Australian Government. Our website addresses end with .gov.au

It’s not a Medicare text message, it’s a scam

Your patient may get a fake Medicare text that looks like this:

When to tell your patient it’s a scam:

  • the text message includes a website link. We’ll never send a patient a text message with a link
  • the website link is only numbers or not from the Australian Government. Our website addresses end with .gov.au

It’s not myGov, it’s a scam

We won’t send patients emails or text messages with links. If someone does click on a link by accident, there are ways to tell it’s a scam website. Clicking on links in scam text messages or emails may lead a patient to a website like this:

This is a fake website.

When to tell your patient it’s a scam:

  • the website address is not an Australian Government website. Our website addresses end with .gov.au
  • the address bar doesn’t have a padlock symbol. Australian Government websites have a padlock symbol to show they’re safe
  • there’s a warning message in the address bar saying ‘Unsafe website’. If your software warns you about a website, link or attachment, pay attention.

Make sure your patients know the real website

To get to the real myGov site, type my.gov.au. On a mobile device it might look like this:

On a computer, it will look more like this:

What to tell your patient

If your patient gets a suspicious email or text message claiming to be from us, tell them:

  • don’t open it
  • don’t click on any links
  • don’t respond to the sender
  • delete the message
  • let us know about it.

Anyone can fall victim to a scam. But the more your patients know what to look for, the more they can protect themselves.

Where can patients find more help

Tell your patient to call our Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk to report any scams about Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support or myGov. Our staff can offer support and advice about how people can protect themselves and their records.

Read more about scams on our website.

Next steps

This information was printed Sunday 19 May 2019 from https://www.humanservices.gov.au/organisations/health-professionals/news/help-protect-your-patients-from-scammers It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.

Page last updated: 14 March 2019