Clarence Valley Independent

Be alert to Coronavirus scams

Posted March 26, 2020.

Australians are coming together to fight the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, people are taking advantage of the community’s anxiety.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ‘Scamwatch’ has been made aware that scammers are adapting existing technology to exploit people’s fears around coronavirus. They are selling products claiming to prevent or cure the virus.

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said multiple reports have been made of phishing scams sent via email or text message.

“They claim to be providing official information on coronavirus but are attempts to try and obtain personal data,” Mr Hogan said.

“It is the lowest of the low for scammers to use this as a vehicle to rip off Australians.”

The Federal Government will use the full force of the law to punish scammers who seek to make false or misleading representations.”

“Penalties can include fines of up to $500,000 for individuals and in excess of $10 million for corporations.”

 For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, get your advice from a trusted source. Visit www.australia.gov.au or call the 24/7 National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

If you believe you have been scammed, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

For more information or to report a coronavirus scam visit the ACCC’s Scamwatch website at; https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/

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