COVID-19 / Coronavirus Scams
Sickeningly, coronavirus scams have emerged and scammers are attempting to defraud Australians by playing off the fear of the coronavirus. At a time when our country needs to come together to minimise the impact of the outbreak, we now also need to be mindful of those who are trying to benefit from the current disaster.
As reported by the Australian government’s ScamWatch website, scams relating to the Coronavirus have been reported since early this year.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (AACC), ScamWatch has received almost 100 reports of scams relating to the coronavirus since January 2020.
Some of the scams already reported are phishing scams where emails or text messages are sent that claim to be providing important information on the coronavirus but are attempts to try and obtain personal data. “Scammers are impersonating official organisations, such as the World Health Organization and the Department of Health or legitimate businesses such as travel agents and telecommunications companies,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
Other scams consist of online shops offering products for sale which are currently sold out and in high demand, such as face masks; however, when purchased the face masks are never received.
Other scams claim to have a cure or vaccine developed for the coronavirus. However, as of today, the 24th March 2020, no cure or vaccine exists for the coronavirus. For reliable and up-to-date information, we recommend visiting the the Department of Health, the World Health Organization or the Australian Government website.
To learn more about scam reports relating to the coronavirus, visit the ScamWatch website.
Please let your friends and family know that there are currently scams happening relating to the coronavirus and we anticipate to see many more still to emerge. We wish everyone safety in this confusing time.