Scammers are impersonating travel agents, government authorities, even the World Health Organisation, reports the ACCC's Scamwatch.
Unsurprisingly, there are reports of various COVID-19 Internet scams at the moment.
Before you roll your eyes, remember that 622 people paid $2.1 million to scammers impersonating the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in 2019. People are still being fooled by online scams.
So, if you suspect someone in your business is vulnerable to online scams, it’s worth warning them about the current spate of COVID-19 scams.
The ACCC’s Scamwatch service has reported that reports of COVID-19 scams gave started to climb since the start of this year.
Here are the reports the Scamwatch has received (in their words):
- phishing emails and phone calls impersonating entities. These include the World Health Organisation, government authorities, people confirmed to have the coronavirus, and legitimate businesses such as travel agents and telecommunications companies
- people receiving misinformation about the coronavirus, being sent by text, social media and email
- products claiming to be a vaccine or cure for the coronavirus
It also reported instances of stores “selling products such as face masks and not providing the goods”.
“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,” stated ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.
“Understandably, people want information on the pandemic, but they should be wary of emails or text messages claiming to be from experts. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the Department of Health and the World Health Organization websites directly.”