Media Releases

COVID-19 scam messages targeting Australians

Monday March 23, 2020

ASD’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is aware of a COVID-19 themed scam being distributed via text message.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s Scamwatch has received multiple reports of COVID-19 themed scam texts being sent to members of the public.

 

The text messages appear to come from ‘GOV’ as the sender and they include a link to find out when to ‘get tested in your geographical area’ for COVID-19.

The link in these text messages is not legitimate, and if clicked on, may install malicious software on your device, designed to steal your banking details.

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:

  • Remember, Australian Government agencies will never send you text messages containing web-links.
  • 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.

If you’ve suffered financial loss from cybercrime, report it to ReportCyber at www.cyber.gov.au/report.