Be alert, don't get scammed

Every year, thousands of Australians are targeted by scams, whether it be online, via phone, mail or even in person.

The Port Stephens Examiner has compiled a list of current scams identified on sites such as, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's website dedicated to informing people about fraudulent and dishonest activities:

Early release superannuation scams

  • Targets super fund members and offers to assist in taking up the new early release super measures announced as part of the government's COVID-19 economic support package.
  • Scammers attempt to steal super by offering unnecessary services for which a fee is charged.
  • The ATO is managing the new early-release process though its MyGov website. There is no need to involve a third party and there are no fees involved.
  • Scammers may try to convince victim that there's is limited time to apply. The scheme does not commence until mid-April.Any suspicious behaviour relating to superannuation can be reported to Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

COVID-19 Scams

  • Scammers are adapting existing technology to play on people's fears around coronavirus and selling products claiming to prevent or cure the virus.
  • Phishing scams are sent via email or text message that claim to be providing official information on coronavirus but are attempts to try and obtain personal data.
  • Other scams include people receiving misinformation about cures for coronavirus and investment scams claiming coronavirus has created opportunities to make money.
  • Scammers are also impersonating official organisations such as the World Health Organization and the Department of Health or legitimate businesses such as travel agents and telecommunications companies.
  • For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the Department of Health and the World Health Organization websites directly.