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New scam text message impersonates government COVID-19 contact tracers

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The text message warns recipients that a possible COVID-19 case has been detected in their neighbourhood.

Australia's consumer watchdog is warning residents to be vigilant for a new scam text message that impersonates the government conducting COVID-19 contact tracing.

The text message warns recipients that a possible COVID-19 case has been detected in their neighbourhood.

It then prompts the recipient to click on a map to find out "the most dangerous places to avoid tomorrow".

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Scamwatch, run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), alerted residents to the new scam via social media this afternoon.

"Beware of the latest #COVID19 themed government impersonation scam," Scamwatch warns.

"If you receive this text, don't click the link, just delete it. Not sure if a text is legitimate?

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"Contact the relevant agency using details you've sourced yourself or visit the official website via your browser."

Since the pandemic begun, Scamwatch has received over 4000 scam reports that use coronavirus as a hook to lure victims in.

To date, these COVID-19 scams have netted more than $3.3 million in reported losses.

The most common scams include phishing for personal information, online shopping scams and scams that appeal to Australians wishing to access their superannuation early.

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"Scammers are pretending to be government agencies providing information on COVID-19 through text messages and emails 'phishing' for your information," Scamwatch warns.

"These contain malicious links and attachments designed to steal your personal and financial information."

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You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348

For coronavirus breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the 9News app and set notifications to on at the App Store or Google Play.

Source: 9News

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