Australians warned of Medicare email scam

Scamwatch releases advice

Australians warned of Medicare email scam


By Roxanne Libatique

A new Medicare scam email has been targeting Australians, Scamwatch has warned.

Scamwatch, which is by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), said on Twitter that it has become aware of fake emails impersonating Medicare. People who have received such an email have been advised to “ignore, delete, and report to Scamwatch”.

In the fake emails, scammers pretending to be Medicare appear to claim that an individual’s account has been temporarily suspended due to  a lack of information regarding the Medicare beneficiary's medical records. The email then provided a link asking the recipient to click a link and complete a form that requires their private information.

2022 was a costly year for Australians who fell victim to scams

Scammers stole more than $3 billion from Australians in 2022, according to the latest Targeting Scams Report, published April 2023. This was up 80% on 2021’s total recorded losses, with financial losses reported to Scamwatch for the year having topped $569 million.

“Scammers evolve quickly and unfortunately, many Australians are losing their life savings,” ACCC deputy chair Catriona Lowe said in an April press release. “We have seen alarming new tactics emerge which make scams incredibly difficult to detect.

This includes everything from impersonating official phone numbers, email addresses and websites of legitimate organisations to scam texts that appear in the same conversation thread as genuine messages.

“This means now more than ever, anyone can fall victim to a scam.”

VPN services provider Surfshark's recent cyber incident study ranked Australia among the most breached countries in the second quarter of 2023 (Q2 2023). The country ranked sixth, with nearly 2 million leaked accounts during the period (or 15 leaked accounts per minute).

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