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Government impersonation scams

Government impersonation scams are calls or texts claiming to be from government agencies asking you to update personal information, claim a refund, or make a payment

Scam alert Government impersonation scams

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is urging Australians to be vigilant about calls, emails or text messages claiming to be from Australian Government or Agencies, especially as we approach tax time.

Be aware of people asking you to urgently update personal information in order to claim a refund or make a payment to avoid a fine.

These messages can sound or look trustworthy, because they include government logos and genuine contact details to trick you into believing they are real.

The most common agencies include MyGov, the Australian Tax Office (ATO), the Department of Home Affairs, or the ACMA.

The urgency can catch you off guard. And they may threaten to cancel your services, or detain you if you don’t make payments or provide personal details to them.

How to spot a fake and steps to take to protect yourself

If you receive a call or message claiming to be from the Australian government requesting personal information, offering a refund or asking you to make an urgent payment you should not deal with that person.

It is recommended that you visit the website or contact them on their publicly listed number to validate the request.

  • Do not rely on the contact information provided by callers or in emails and SMS.
  • Do not provide your personal information or make payments to callers over the phone.
  • Do not click on any links in emails or SMS.

These may be phishing scams designed to steal your personal or financial details.

  • Immediately cut contact with anyone who tries to threaten or intimidate you.
  • Don’t open or download any attachments or apps as these can install malicious software on to your computer or phone.
  • Watch out for slight variations in Caller ID or Sender ID like dots, special characters, or numbers.

Secure your email

Visit the e-Safety Commissioner website for some simple steps to keep our email secure.External Link

What to do if you have been tricked

If you’re concerned that your identity has been compromised contact your bank immediately and call IDCARE on 1800 595 160.

Report a Scam on the ACCC Scamwatch websiteExternal Link

Learn more about Scams

Visit the ACCC Scamwatch websiteExternal Link to learn more about the types of scams that are common

Visit the eSafety Commissioner websiteExternal Link for information and support.

Reviewed 09 November 2023