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The COVID-19 scams that have cost Australians $2.4 million

Australians have been fleeced out of $2.4 million dollars by scammers capitalising on the fear surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has received reports about several scams relating to COVID-19.

In one scam, people are called by someone purporting to be from the health department and requesting they isolate and send money for a testing kit.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard has urged anyone approached in that way to “just ignore it”, but there are also several other COVID-19 related scams Australians should also watch out for.

“We’re also seeing a whole range of government impersonation threats, they’re probably the main thing we’re seeing at the moment,” Ms Rickard told Neil Mitchell.

“There’s two variations of this: first of all we have what we’re calling fake government threats. You get a robocall out of the blue … they tell you there’s a warrant out for your arrest and you need to pay money immediately.

“The other thing we’re seeing is a whole range if phishing scams. So you’ll get a text or an email from a government department … requesting a whole lot of personal information so they can process some COVID-19 related payment for you.

“Amongst that information they ask for your bank account details, your superannuation account details, drivers licence, all of that sort of thing.”

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