Human Services scam: don’t get caught out

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Catherine received a rather convincing email regarding qualification for a Human Services subsidy benefit. How can she tell if it’s a scam or if she’s missing a much-needed payment?

Q. Catherine
I received the following email last week and I have noted that it is most likely a scam. Can you confirm if I’m correct or am I missing out on an actual Human Services subsidy? I would never give this type of information out via email, but I’m sure others would – maybe you could let others know if it’s a fake? 


A. This is indeed a scam – albeit a very good one. There are very few organisations that will ask you to give such personal and financial information via email. And indeed, if any do, you should ask if there is a more secure way to pass on or verify information.

Also, if contacting any organisation to enquire whether or not it has sent a communication, always go through an email address or phone number you have taken from its official website, not one that has been provided in the email.

Thank you very much for alerting us to this – we’re sure that other YourLifeChoices members will be cautious if they receive such an email.

Have you received a similar email? Did you spot it as a scam?

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Written by Debbie McTaggart


Total Comments: 5
  1. 0

    I would have thought the first line was a giveaway: ‘is pleased to notify your attention’. Another good reason to ensure everyone learns to read.

    • 0


      That was also my reaction as soon as I started reading the email. However, the sad fact is that a genuine email COULD contain the error in this scam one.

      What adjective do I use to describe the state of literacy (and numeracy) these days? (Or should I say to describe the lack thereof, rather than the state?)

      Sixty years ago when I was a sophomore in high school, my English teacher gave us an interesting assignment. We were told to go through the weekly local newspaper and find errors in punctuation and grammar. I don’t remember how many there were, but that assignment today (in that newspaper if it still exists or in the one where I now live) would produce a flood of mistakes.

      Have a look at (a May 2013 article with a picture of Bob Dole from April 2011). Look at the text under the picture — a perfect example, methinks, of why mainstream media continues to go down the gurgler. When I first read the article in 2013, I used their feedback form TWICE to advise them of their error. It remains uncorrected.

    • 0

      Exactly my first thought too, Teddy. Poor English is always a dead giveaway.

  2. 0

    Using a Commonwealth Department’s forged logo on a document designed to deceive by false pretence to obtain a financial benefit is a Commonwealth criminal offence. I hope Centrelink and DHS report this to AFP.

  3. 0

    The Department of Human Resources VOLUNTEERING to give you money? C’mon !You’ve got to draw their attention to a fault in their files AND prove it with paper. Of course it is a scam.



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