Aussies have been told to watch out for a new text message scam doing the rounds, pretending to offer a ‘cost of living’ payment.
The scam message, shared on Reddit, claims to be sent by myGov and tries to trick the recipient into handing over their personal details.
The message reads: “myGov: We’re providing 800 AUD in a single payment to help you cope with the cost of living crisis”.
The message then includes a link to ‘myGov’, which is different from the official myGov URL. The Reddit user who shared the scam message warned others to “be careful of this one”.
“I’m sure lots of people will fall for this – lucky their spoofed site doesn’t even work,” they said.
myGov said it would never send you an email or SMS message with a hyperlink directing you to sign in to your myGov account.
“Always access myGov by typing in the web address yourself. Or, you can use the official Australian Government myGov app,” myGov said.
Reports of myGov scams increased a whopping 160 per cent in January compared to December last year, according to Scamwatch.
The government has promised to crack down on text message scams and will provide $10 million over four years to create a new SMS sender ID registry.
The registry will act as a blocking list and help to stop scammers from impersonating major brands and government agencies, such as myGov, Australia Post and Linkt.
Scammers are currently able to copy or ‘spoof’ message headers from real companies and send fake messages in the same message thread as genuine messages – so it can be easy for recipients to be tricked.
Should you receive a suspicious message, myGov said don’t reply, don’t open any links and don’t download any attachments.