Government warning issued as Coronavirus text scam alert circulates

Scam impersonating the Government.

Editor / March 17 2020

The Australian Government Stay Safe Online page has shared a sleek looking new text scam that has been duping Australians.

Stay Smart Online is part of The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), they have issued a warning not to open the link, and to delete the message.

The message sender is GOV, tricking many into believing it is sent from the Australian Government. If you click on the scam link it will try to trick you into installing software that will steal your bank details.



The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s Scamwatch has also received multiple reports of Coronavirus Covid-19 themed scams being sent to members of the public.

The ACSC advises that if you receive of these messages to delete the message and do not click on the link.

How do I stay safe?

If you receive one of these messages, delete the message and do not click the link.  

Messages that pretend to be government and other trusted organisations are known as phishing scams. They often contain a link to a fake website, where you are encouraged to enter confidential details.

To protect yourself from phishing:

  • Don’t click on links in emails or messages, or open attachments, from people or organisations you don’t know.
  • Before you click a link, hover over that link to see the actual web address it will take you to (usually shown at the bottom of the browser window). If you do not recognise or trust the address, try searching for relevant key terms in a web browser. This way you can find the article, video or webpage without directly clicking on the suspicious link.
  • If you're not sure, talk through the suspicious message with a friend or family member, or check its legitimacy by contacting the relevant business or organisation (using contact details sourced from the official company website).

If you’ve received one of these messages and you’ve clicked on the link, or you’re concerned your personal details have been compromised, contact your financial institution immediately.

Watch: 7 simple steps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus

Michelle Connolly has worked as a photo director, social media manager and photo editor at some of Australia's biggest media companies, including New Idea. She is now editor of Practical Parenting and loving mum-of-two.

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