Australians urged: beware of COVID-19 scammers

The ACCC is warning Australians to remain vigilant regarding scammers who are adapting existing technology to play on people’s fears around COVID-19 and selling products that claim to prevent or cure the virus.

Reportedly, since 1 January 2020, the ACCC’s Scamwatch has received 94 reports of scams about COVID-19 and warns that figures are starting to climb.

Scamwatch report receiving multiple reports of phishing scams sent via email and text messages claiming to be providing official information on COVID-19 but are attempts to obtain personal data.

Other scams include:

  • Misinformation about cures for COVID-19.
  • Investment scams claiming COVID-19 has created opportunities to make money.

“There is no known vaccine or cure for coronavirus and a vaccine isn’t expected to be available for 18 months,” warned ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.

“Do not buy any products that claim to prevent or cure you of COVID-19. They simply don’t exist.”

Australians are warned that “scammers are impersonating official organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Department of Health”.

It’s imperative to be obtaining the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 from reputable sources, such as the Department of Health and WHO directly.

 

For more information or to report a COVID-19 scam, visit: scamwatch.gov.au/news/covid-19-coronavirus-scams

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