Possible Scam Alert

Possible Scam Alert

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 www.scamwatch.gov.au 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.

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