Scammers are finding new ways to try to take advantage of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about what to look out for and how to protect yourself.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is encouraging Australians to be vigilant about scammers using calls, SMS and emails to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout and, more generally, COVID-related restrictions.
Like other phone or email-based scams, COVID-related scams often appear as though they are coming from a trusted brand or organisation and try to trick people into sharing personal or financial details. Scams reported in Australia to ACMA and other authorities around the world have:
- offered opportunities to invest in a vaccine company
- asked people to complete a fake vaccine-related survey to win a prize
- requested the use of dubious tracing apps, including by offering apps that don’t work.
What to do if you receive a suspicious phone call or message
- Do not provide your personal details over the phone or click on any links within an email or text message before checking the source is legitimate
- Do not send any money to someone you don’t know
- Do not let someone you don’t know take control of your computer or install a program
- Verify who is contacting you by looking up the company or organisation and calling back on a legitimate number
- Go directly to a website instead of clicking on a link. For example, to reach the MyGov website, type ‘my.gov.au’ into your browser rather than clicking on a link in a text
- Check for the latest information about scams
If you have shared your personal details or lost money to a scammer, help is available. Visit the Scamwatch website for .
Important facts about COVID-19 and the vaccination rollout
If you are concerned about COVID-19 information in communications or online, check the source of the material and see if it is from a credible website or verified social media account.
COVID-19 vaccination is free - you will not be asked to pay a fee to get vaccinated. You do not need a prescription from a doctor to get the vaccine, and the vaccine will not be sent to you in the mail. Self-vaccination and self-test kits are not legal to sell or advertise in Australia.
You should not be asked by anyone (other than your doctor or medical professional) to provide any personal information over the phone, email or SMS to get access to, or information about, the vaccination.
For more information and support:
- Visit the Victorian Government Coronavirus
- Call the 24/7 Victorian Government Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398
- Call the Australian Government Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080
Reviewed 21 December 2022