Possible Scam Alert

20 June 2016

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has recently received reports that members of the public have been contacted via phone by an individual or individuals identifying themselves as DSS officers offering a $7,600 government grant.

Some members of the public have reported the caller claims the government grant is a Volunteer Grant. Others have reported that the caller stated the $7,600 figure is a tax payment. The caller has on occasion sought the member of the public to purchase an iTunes card and provide the iTunes code prior to DSS paying the $7,600. 

The callers seek personal information including bank details, passport and license numbers. 

These claims are false and these individuals in no way represent DSS or the Commonwealth.

DSS officers do not:

  • contact members of the public seeking personal information, such as bank details, passport or license numbers; or
  • provide funding as a result of an individual purchasing an iTunes card.

It is a serious matter to impersonate a Commonwealth public official.  In some circumstances, it may be a criminal offence carrying a penalty of imprisonment.

What to do if approached or if you need assistance.

If you wish to report an incident of this nature, please phone the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on 1300 795 995 or by visiting or you can contact the DSS fraud reporting hotline on 1800 133 611.

If you have already provided information to a caller and you are concerned that a crime has or may be committed, contact the police, bank or DFAT if it relates to your passport details.

If approached in this manner, do not give out any information and if you are uncomfortable with the nature of the call or approach, just hang up. 

If you contact DSS in the first instance, we will obtain as many details as possible from you about the incident, including your contact details, and, if appropriate, DSS will refer it to the police or other relevant authority including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Volunteer Grants 2015
13 May 2016

Organisations applied for Volunteer Grants through an open selection process under the Strengthening Communities – Volunteering sub-activity from 29 October 2015 – 9 December 2015.

The Department has finalised the Volunteer Grants 2015 selection process and around 5,300 organisations will benefit to make the work of their volunteers easier, safer and more enjoyable.

A list of successful applicants and further information is available at Volunteer Grants 2015.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in writing by email or post from mid-May 2016.

A New Way of Working for Grants

The Australian Government is committed to working effectively with organisations to deliver valuable services for individuals, families and the community. This includes providing greater certainty for service providers to improve service delivery and enable them to continue to deliver the critical work that they do.

As part of a broad plan to boost productivity and remove unnecessary red tape for community organisations, the Department of Social Services (DSS) has seven streamlined grant programmes aimed at enhancing service delivery and providing greater freedom for service providers.

DSS grant arrangements include:

  • grant programmes that reflect the way community services are delivered
  • longer term grant agreements where appropriate, to offer certainty in service delivery
  • a move towards a single grant agreement for each provider to reduce administrative burden
  • a streamlined approach to programme performance reporting which is mutually beneficial
  • simplified financial acquittal reporting to cut down on administrative costs for providers

DSS funding rounds currently open for application are advertised on the Funding Open for Application page.

Organisations interested in DSS grants are encouraged to subscribe to receive alerts when new information is made available. The Department accepts no responsibility to inform applicants of any changes if they do not subscribe to receive alerts.

Media Releases

For information about DSS Budget measures, visit the DSS Budget page.

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