Scammers continue to use the Covid-19 pandemic to prey on Australians, with one family losing their savings after receiving an innocent-looking message.
Australians are being warned of another text messaging scam using the Covid-19 pandemic to prey on the innocent.
The texts claim to be from a federal agency and tell recipients that they are a close contact with Omicron and need to order a free PCR test kit from the link provided.
However, the fraudulent link contained in the texts is used to steal user information.
A family from Perth said they lost their savings after they clicked on a link and fell victim to bank fraud.
Mom-of-four Storm Tate said she didn’t really think about paying the roughly $1 to ship Covid tests until she received another message from her brother telling her it was a scam.
A few days later, she received a call from a man with an English accent who claimed to be from the National Bank of Australia and informed her that their account had been hacked.
“I immediately panicked, thinking, ‘Oh my God, I went to this site,'” Ms. Tate told Seven News.
The caller convinced her that she needed to create three new accounts in order to scam the scammers and told her to wire her $19,000 in wire transfer.
Unfortunately for the family, the call was part of a scam and robbed them of their $60,000 savings.
Ms. Tate was traumatized by the incident, thinking that nothing like this could ever happen to her.
“I’ve gone over this in my mind so many times; I just don’t know how I didn’t think, “That’s wrong,” Tate said.
More recently, scam texts claimed to come from Medicare but previously pretended to come from Services Australia and myGov.
They are directed to a fake Australian Government online order form that requires full name, address, date of birth and banking or credit card details to pay for shipping costs.
Australia Services has stated that they and other agencies do not include links in texts they may send to clients.
“Once the scammers get your personal and financial details, they may try to gain access to your bank or credit card accounts or steal your identity in order to apply for a loan,” said Washington Consumer Protection Commissioner Gary Newcomb.
“People should remain vigilant against text message scams and never click on links contained in unwanted text messages that could lead you to a fake website or even download spyware to your device.”
Mr. Newcomb advised those who had already followed the link and provided personal details to contact their bank.
“If you have provided these details, we recommend that you contact the relevant agency or your bank using their official contact details and follow their instructions, which may include canceling accounts or changing passwords,” he said.
“If you paid with a credit card, keep an eye on your statement for strange transactions. You can also dispute the transaction and request a refund.”
Originally published as Fake Covid test scam drains family savings