Sigh. Another day, another MyGov scam — this one trying to hook in people doing it tough by pretending to be an assistance payment.
A relative of mine just received the following via SMS:
And they checked with me, because they figured it sounded odd.
They were right, of course — it’s 100% absolutely a scam.
And to be clear, the big red painted over section is a URL that I am in NO WAY going to propagate, just in case, to save anyone else falling victim to it.
How do you know it’s a scam? I could use some government assistance!
Couldn’t we all? But the absolute dead set giveaway here is that it has a URL in it at all.
Proper messages from The Australian government’s MyGov service will never have a clickable link in them.
You should ALWAYS just open a fresh browser and go to the MyGov site yourself — the original shortened (to hide that it’s a scam) URL in the link above I’m sure would go to a site that looks like the MyGov site… but it isn’t.
Enter your details on that site and they’ll be hoovered up by identity thieves who can then use your MyGov account to hijack your government services — including the very support payments that some Australians doing it really hard will absolutely rely upon.
I genuinely hate this kind of thing, so while this isn’t a “new” scam per se (although it takes a different route to this MyGov scam, for example), I’m always going to shine a light on it, because if it can help just one person avoid being scammed, it’s worth it.
The relative in question was clued in enough to do nothing with it, but these scams work because not everyone is quite that aware. It’s not a question of being “stupid”, either; it’s just scumbags preying on society’s most vulnerable.
What should I do if I got that text message?
I’m going to borrow here directly from the MyGov Scam advice page, because it’s spot-on advice:
If you get a suspicious message claiming to be from myGov:
- don’t reply
- don’t open any links
- don’t download any attachments.
You can opt to report the scam to MyGov if it’s a MyGov specific site — the link is on the MyGov Scams page linked above — or if you get other kinds of scam-related texts, report them to Scamwatch.