New scam aimed at pensioners

The ACCC has issued a warning of a new scam primarily aimed at pensioners.

New scam aimed at pensioners

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned Australians of a new scam involving Centrelink impostors trying to trick vulnerable victims into transferring money and disclosing sensitive personal and financial information.

Last month, more than 100 people called the ACCC to inform it of the scheme, in which scammers assume the identities of government workers from Centrelink and the Department of Human Services, then obtain the victim’s personal and financial details. Four people have been relieved of $3000 over the past six months.

Victims are told that the government owes them money and they can only receive it if they hand over their bank account details, personal information and a fee – which is said to be required or else Centrelink payments will be cut off.

Pensioners are not only tricked into potentially giving money away, but also falling victim to identity theft.

According to ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard, Department of Human Services (DHS) and Centrelink staff would not ask anyone to divulge this type of information over the phone, and she urged people to be vigilant in order to protect their financial security.

"If you receive a phone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from a government department and they claim that you are entitled to money, hang up," said Ms Rickard.

"Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately."

If you’ve received one of these calls, report it to the ACCC on 1300 795 995 or visit the ACCC’s Scamwatch website.

Read more at The Daily Telegraph


    To make a comment, please register or login
    12th Nov 2015
    Stone the crows and stuff a parrot...wouldn't you think that by age 60 you'd at least have something inside your skull besides air?
    12th Nov 2015
    Bit like the emails I keep getting saying that someone is dying and wants to leave me $10 million in their will.

    Still waiting as I havent the $500 to transfer it.
    12th Nov 2015
    Ha Ha, I was just offered a brand new Audi Q5 and $750,000 because my email address had been one of a lucky five from over 1,000,000 email addresses from around the world to take part in an Audi promotion by the Audi Motor Company India.
    Why would I want a Volkswagen with four circles on the bonnet in the first place? Oh, you say VW is the most trusted motor company on the planet? Right! Idiots should have offered me a Hyundai Tuscon...
    You are spot on WsStaton - these guys get bolder and bolder. This is the sort of thing our internet ISPs should block.
    How did they get my email - even I can't remember the address most of the time?
    12th Nov 2015
    I have had a couple of these types of calls and without telling them anything about myself I get as much information as I can out of them and then report them. The last one was from supposedly the ATO saying my taxes for last year raised monies oweing to me. Good, could do with some extra cash, but, they didn't know that I didn't pay any taxes last year. So once I got their name and phone number I just hung up! Simple really! This website helps to stay informed:
    Golden Oldie
    6th Nov 2017
    I had 2 calls on the same day, supposedly from the ATO, regarding a debt I supposedly owed, and that they would send the police to arrest me if I did not pay up immediately. I could not interrupt the person, and when I heard the same spiel, same aggressive attitude, on a voice message after the first call which I missed, I assumed that the calls were recorded messages. Hanging up was the only option.
    12th Nov 2015
    the biggest scam is centrelink itself ...
    12th Nov 2015
    Yep. I reckon the Government will eventually have to set up a completely new and independent Ombudsman just for Centrelink complaints.
    12th Nov 2015
    I had a phone call the other night from a male with an Asian accent. The only word I understood was Bangadesh so I told hin to f**k off and he did. If I get a phone call like this again I will add the word 'pig'.
    12th Nov 2015
    Get an answering machine. The phone often rings and 'they' never ring back. These crims get people on the hop and they panic.
    15th Nov 2015
    I think we should just never answer any call, if it comes from number we don't recognize and without any prior appointment. There have been so many reports that I found about these scams at sites like and another similar sites. We should also spread the word about them to our family and friends.

    12th Nov 2015
    Centrelink call centre workers sound as if they are from off shore. They call from unlisted numbers and ask the most invasive questions such as dob over the phone. It wouldn't take a genius to scam the vulnerable. Some medications play with the mind and dementia can come on at 40. Centerlink needs to investigate its staff.
    22nd Apr 2016
    What a load of tosh this is. It is totally not understandable. A waste of a post.
    12th Nov 2015
    These scammers are vermin of the worst kind I'm for one who gets sick of calls and never divulge any details to them,I had one the other day saying someone in our house had a accident,and kept on persisting that it had happened,I said get real I live here and should know if this was the case,I got a little agitated and finally the phone went dead yes he had hung up always listen there will be a slight pause befor they speak and it is mostly these low life trying to catch you,always be aware they have some stupid story that that have been taught or made up,Thank you for the information,I will certainly be aware of this latest scam
    12th Nov 2015
    There was one mob of scammers going around phoning people and saying they were from windows and they needed to make adjustment to the computer to protect it from a virus or make it run faster.The chances are that you clicked on contaminated mail from them, by which they caused the damage to the computer to begin with. They then phone in the nick of time to fix your computer, you just have to click this and that, to give them remote access. From there they can get your personal info, banking details etc.
    Then there is email from the bank you have never had an account with, or the long lost relative that has died and left you a fortune. Or the god fearing, honest, trustworthy person, a beautiful young female (see fake photograph) that has been abused by her uncle and needs some money.
    I put in an answering machine to block some of the scammers, only to find that there were some legitimate businesses around town employing junior staff who would get stage fright when they heard "please leave a message after the tone" They were then likely to report I was not contactable on that number.
    12th Nov 2015
    Solve all that trouble ! Get Telstra Platinum ! It cost a little bit a Month Extra , About 15 Bucks at the Moment, but they will fix any Problem You have and they Speak English ! :-) So don't let the Unsolicited Phone Trash worry you any longer !! :-)
    13th Nov 2015
    Hell 15 dollars a months --I don't spend that on phone calls
    8th May 2016
    HEY PARTI why would you need to get Telstra Platinum, if you have telstra anyway, then you should be just get the home message bank switched on, it answers all your calls if you can't get to the phone, and it costs nothing!
    12th Nov 2015
    Since we went naked ADSL and obtained an 'internet' number, we don't get these types of calls and I miss them and the opportunity one has to have a bit of fun! Two types of response (amongst a few used) were to 'put them on hold' - and just leave it at that for some time then hang-up. One other favourite (also used 'live') was to intone that 'I can't do that, I am gay you see' - 'it's very hard being the only gay in the village' - a Welsh accent helps here! Another (I just had to mention it!) was the 'boring, baroque response'!
    12th Nov 2015
    Villaaaage boyo lol
    12th Nov 2015
    And no mention of muffwanway.
    8th May 2016
    OH dear, i can't be standing around Naked all the time waiting for calls!!!
    lol too difficult.
    Sorry but i have yet to grasp this Function"Naked ADSl" i know many have it, but you really have to have some technical background to understand this. Tho as i stated above, getting a telstra messagebank switched on is just as easy with no cost! cheers
    12th Nov 2015
    When will these scum be imprisoned?
    12th Nov 2015
    They have to catch them first.
    12th Nov 2015
    Centrelink a scam?You would have to be joking.

    12th Nov 2015
    Sign nothing, send nothing, say nothing.
    12th Nov 2015
    When I get the calls asking if I am the owner of the property I tell them I am just the cleaner.
    12th Nov 2015
    I have a whistle next to the phone and the funny thing is I've not had these calls for a while now lol
    12th Nov 2015
    Yes armyboots I did exactly the same 2 very hard loud whistles into the phone did wonders NO MORE scam calls

    12th Nov 2015
    Some of you people are missing out there is a shitload of money to be got from Nigeria a very good place to visit so I am told (if you have a death wish) all you have to give is your bank details, let me know how you go.
    17th Jun 2016
    you cheeky sod robbo lol
    if there is so much money to be made could you get a loan in your name, and send me some :)
    17th Jun 2016
    i'll pay ya back i promise lol Eventually :)
    12th Nov 2015
    If they ring you and ask for your date of birth, a friend of mine has a tactic his response is ""if you have my phone number, and you have a file on me, YOU tell me what my date of birth is. where I was born, who my parents and grandparents are"", then hang up. They are wasting the cost of their phone call.
    I got a crank phone call one night, told the person I wasn't interested a couple of times then hung up. The "person" kept ringing our phone and hanging up as I answered. I then ignored it, but the Person" pesisted so I left the receiver off for a couple of hours. Apart from being very annoyed by the audacity of the person, it was 1.00am when I left the phone receiver off for a few hours.
    12th Nov 2015
    After that we registered on the "do not call register" Now if I get one I ask them where they got my phone number from (I now have a silent number)
    12th Nov 2015
    Look out for the phone call lately claiming to be Telstra. I have spoken to Telstra about it. They speak very quietly so you cannot hear correctly what they are saying. All they need from you are several YES's and NO's and you have transfered your phone/internet account to another provider without realising it. The clue is that they will ask questions about your account that Telstra should already know.
    13th Nov 2015
    Its like that other scam that is still running ! You get a phone call from the ATO saying that you owe the Tax dept money and that if you don't ring back and get in touch you will have legal action taken against you for fraud ! This has been going on for about 6 months that I know of and has been on the new's and I even rang the Fraud Squad and informed them ! But this Irish speaking guy on the phone changes the phone number quite often so as to not leave too much of a trail ! So be very careful of anything that sounds like a Scam is just that "A SCAM" !! Dotty
    Mr Bent
    14th Nov 2015
    I have always been called by my middle name, so before I answer one question I ask what is my Christian name and they always answer with my middle name... that's unless I'm bored or grumpy then I just tell them to "F - Off!"....
    Golden Oldie
    20th May 2016
    What I don't get is pensioners being asked for bank details for money owed to the by Centrelink and supplying these details online.. Centerlink already has all the details required. They have absolutely no problems eith paying my part pension directly into my bank account on a fortnightly basis.
    5th Jun 2016
    I was on the Do Not Call Register but still got phone calls, usually from Indian accents saying they were offering Solar Panels and the other saying enquiring about my car involved in an accident. I rang Telstra to report them, so they have blocked International calls. Lets hope this work.
    5th Jun 2016
    I also rang Telstra and they said that they could but I would have to update it every 3 months so I didn't bother.
    5th Jun 2016
    Well, I wouldn't bother with Telstra either!
    7th Jun 2016
    The Do Not Call Register does not block overseas calls, charities, businesses or political parties.
    8th Jul 2016
    Telstra will bloke international;l calls if you ask them, I got sick of the scam calls and rang Telstra, and they said as I did not normaly get overseas calls, no worry , they would block them, but I still get the odd crank call, usually that my computer has a virus, like othes. I just tell them to f/// off, or tell them to get a real job,
    Not Senile Yet!
    15th Jul 2016
    Far more fun to scam them back with false details and keep them on the phone for
    15th Oct 2016
    Every day I get emails about my having won prizes or gift cards. And most days I get at least one phone call - on either my landline or mobile, from somebody with a private number wanting me to do a survey or have products supplied free for me to test. It's all rubbish, of course, and the 'Private' caller number as well as the delay in them answering and the foreign accented person on the other end elicits my immediate and often unprintable response. Scammers everywhere and I'm sick and tired of them interrupting my day. Nobody seems to be able to do anything about it so we're forced to protect ourselves by adopting a distrustful attitude towards the outside world. Not nice!
    15th Oct 2016
    Hey Phil1943,
    I agree with you that no one does anything so we have to be a bit proactive ourselves. I’m just wondering if you are on the ‘Do Not Call’ register? This often helps cut the number of callers down. It is not perfect though. Also, bear in mind that charities are allowed to call, outside of this register.
    The other thing you mentioned was the ‘delay’ when you answer – great, hang up! This delay is the computer trolling for an operator to take the call to speak to you and when you hang up it assumes someone has taken the call.
    Only other thing to do if this doesn’t help and you are still getting calls, then don’t answer them. If you know the number, answer; if you don’t or it is private then leave it. Tell all your friends and contacts to ring for say 10 seconds, then hang up and ring again; that way you know it is someone you know.
    Hope this helps and you can limit these annoying calls.
    Golden Oldie
    6th Nov 2017
    I get a lot of scam emails, but now running Windows 10 and Gmail, and almost all of them now go in a scam folder so that I don't see them unless I actually look at the folder to check for any ones that were not scams. so far, in the last year, only 1 has made it into my inbox. I tend to forget to delete my scam folder on a regular basis, and when I get to it after a few days there could be 99+ to be deleted. Automatic deletion is after 3 months, much too long a period.

    3rd Nov 2016
    Never ceases to amaze me when I hear of seniors getting scammed.

    It all comes down to "greed".. Serves them right if they get caught. There have been enough warnings on the tv, radio, press for years ...if they still fall victim...tough titties as they say.

    There is no such thing as a free lunch in this world. There is always a price and as for these silly people who get caught up in romantic entanglements with people they have never met and then are stupid enough to empty their bank account into theirs...well what can you say!!
    13th Jan 2017
    You can say "stupid old fool
    28th Jun 2017
    I reckon all correspondence involving accounts etc with say centrelink, govt depts, business etc should be via snail mail that way it largely gets rid of the problem
    20th Oct 2017
    There are others also.
    For the past few weeks I have been regularly receiving notices that I have been issued with a traffic infringement, details in the attachment. Open the attachment and you are in a world of trouble.
    Another works on the fact that people are purchasing goods online, so they send out a message saying that they were unable to deliver your order, so print out the attachment and collect your parcel from the post office. Fall for that one, as I did once, and was immediately advised - correctly - that my computer was infected with 17 viruses, but would I like a program to remove those viruses?
    As the damage was already done, I downloaded the program, then was informed that it was not able to remove the viruses, so would I like to purchase an upgrade which would definitely do the job?
    I didn't go any further because I didn't really want these scammers to achieve their objective of getting access to my bank account.
    With the benefit of hindsight, I would agree with PIXAPD, but these scams are clever, to make a mistake which has drastic consequences is easily done.
    23rd Oct 2017
    Has anyone received their reinstated Pension Concession Card as stated by the Minister for Human Services the (Hon Alan Trudge MP) and Minister for Social Services the (Hon Christian Porter MP) as stated in a media release of 9/10/2017,Still waiting for mine...
    Golden Oldie
    6th Nov 2017
    Yes, I have received mine, a bit later than the date on your posting. You should have yours by now.
    6th Jun 2018
    At one time I had 3 concession cards all current excellent waste of taxpayers money..great if your a refugee family or OTHER denomination with two wife’s and kids.advised by Centrelink just to destroy them which I did .how many others is this happening to????
    6th Jun 2018
    At one time I had 3 concession cards all current excellent waste of taxpayers money..great if your a refugee family or OTHER denomination with two wife’s and kids.advised by Centrelink just to destroy them which I did .how many others is this happening to????

    16th Nov 2017
    For goodness sake for all the numbskulls out the ACCC and ask them to send you out "The Little Black Book of Scams".

    It is well worth having.

    Just remember if you did not buy a ticket in a raffle/lottery you did not win. Why on earth would someone send YOU millions out dollars and why on earth anyone would send money to someone they do not just defies logic!!

    I treat every email and every phone call I get with suspicious of I do not know the person and never ring a number in an email or click on links from people you do not know.

    If you do this you should not get into trouble.
    11th Dec 2017
    I never answer phone calls from 'private' (unlisted) numbers. A very high % of them have been con merchants, shonky sales reps or unwanted 'bargains'.
    And I do not expect lotteries in which I don't have a ticket to pay me a dividend. I used to get snail mail telling me I had won but they needed to pay a 'transfer' fee. I told them to take the fee out of the winnings and post me a cheque for the balance. No more mail from them!
    14th Dec 2017
    Yesterday I received a call from " Telstra " saying that there had been a cable damaged at the local exchange and to check my modem which I did and noticed that the lights had turned red. I was asked to log on to my computer that they would have to change me over to another system until they repaired my current. I told him I was unable to get to the computer but to give me his name and phone number and I would ring him back. He said his name was Sam Wilson but was very cagey about ringing him back said it was a big office and I mightn't get him and it could cause problems but he would ring me back this morning and to make sure I was in front of the computer. The lights on my modem then turned to green again. I rang Telstra and they assured me that there were no problems at the exchange and that it was a scam. They were very helpful the lady asked if I wanted to have calls from know hacking countries blocked to my number and gave me the following number to give to my family and friends to have the same block applied to their phones 1800805996 it is free of charge. Irish
    6th Jun 2018
    Wow $15 a month for Telstra platinum sounds like a scam right there,Cannot afford it.
    9th Jul 2019
    Ha I got one telling me to pay $1000 or they would show video of me watching PORN sites and behaving inapropiately thru My CAMERA!
    Ha!I always tape over my camera plus at 80 I`d rather have a cuppa tea!;-)))))))
    he he he!!

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