Fraudsters prey on Australians financially affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Fraudsters prey on Australians affected by the COVID-19

Phishing scams on Australia’s Superannuation 

With the COVID-19 pandemic situation, Australia will process the early release of Superannuation (aka Super). This is a retirement plan that is partly compulsory to a company that is requiring to have their employees to deposit a minimum percentage of their salary to a specific account.  In line with this solution aid, fraudsters phishing scam attempts have already been reported since its announcement.

As announced by the Australian Government on April 2, affected employees that are around 360,000 can start to apply now for Super, and its release will commence on 20 April 2020. They can get up to $10,000 of their Super covering 2019-2020 and another $10,000 for 2020-2021.  The Super program application is available in the myGov website of Australia 

As of today, there were already 80 incidents cited wherein cybercriminals do their act to get illegal access to the said fund. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or (ACCC) Deputy chair Delia Rickard said, that “for most people outside of their home, Superannuation is their greatest asset and you can’t be too careful about protecting it.” 

Here are the facts and reminders that the Australian Government warned regarding this fraud: 

  • Applying for Super does not need to involve a third party or pay a fee to get priority access – Australian Taxation Office.
  • Current schemes are targeting a wide range of Age Group, unlike previous fraud acts that mainly targeting aged people.
  • Be mindful of people you talk that may pressure you to give your financial details immediately.
  • Do not open or follow a link to get to the myGov website, instead directly type it on the web address on your browser.
  • Do not cater to calls that pretend to be from the Government authority asking for your Superannuation information.
  • Do not entertain people that ask for your Super account to check your eligibility for other benefit claims.

According to ACCC’s record, in 2019, $6 million were lost by Australians for superannuation scams by fraudsters. The age bracket of the targeted people was between 45 to 54 years old. Aside from receiving calls, it also includes infecting their devices with malware to steal their information as scammers can use a wide range of tactics to trick people. Thus, a warning was heightened regarding this malicious activity attempting to capitalize on the COVID-19 outbreak.  

 

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