Know the signs – Protect yourself from scams

We are aware of a scam email telling people they can get a ‘subsidy benefit’. The email asks you to reply with personal information to confirm your eligibility.

This ‘subsidy benefit’ does not exist.

Under our terms and conditions for electronic messaging, we will never ask you to respond to us, by email or SMS, to any electronic message we send you.
We will also never ask you to:

  • purchase gift cards or vouchers (such as iTunes)
  • pay a fee to receive your payment or service
  • provide passwords or PIN numbers to your bank accounts
  • click on hyperlinks in emails
  • download files from the internet, or open attachments in unsolicited emails.

Scammers are increasingly impersonating government agencies, including the Department of Human Services, to get people’s money and personal information.

Scam emails, phone calls and SMS can look or sound very convincing. Most appear to involve someone asking you:

  • for personal information (such as your Centrelink Customer Reference Number, address, log on details, and bank details)
  • to pay fees or transfer money to receive a government bonus payment or grant
  • to pay fees or transfer money to pay back a debt.

Once scammers have your information, they may use it to access your online accounts or bank accounts, or compromise your identity and use it to commit crimes such as fraud.

If the department contacts you and you don’t believe it’s legitimate, do not engage in conversation. Try to record their contact details if you can and call us on your regular payment line.

If you think you’ve been scammed, you should report this to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s SCAMwatch website. If you have given out your account details or logged in to your bank through an email link, make sure you contact your financial institution.

More information