Rebate scam

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Video transcript: Rebate scam (Word, 26KB)

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How the scam works

Scammers pretend to be from a government, bank or other well-known institution. They call, email or text you to say that you are owed money. However, first you must pay an administration fee or similar to ‘reclaim’ the money.

Australians are popular targets for these scammers, because our governments offer many legitimate rebate and incentive schemes.

Other ploys include telling the intended victim that their pension was underpaid or their utility bills were overpaid.

Protect yourself:

  • Be wary of unsolicited emails, phone calls or letters saying you have unclaimed funds or are owed money.
  • Check that the organisation, and the rebate, are legitimate, by contacting them directly.
  • Try and get their details from an independent source, such as a phone directory.
  • Beware of fake websites. Scammers send links to websites that look real, carrying the logos of well-known banks and other organisations.
  • Do not rely on caller ID. Scammers can use internet telephony services to purchase local telephone numbers that hide the fact they are based overseas.