Man using laptop with the word "scam" on the screen

Be COVID Fraud Aware

Did you know that scammers target small business owners as they recognise they are busy and usually have limited resources to keep their systems safe.

Scam risks have increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest COVID-19 scams are designed to take advantage of the changes to our daily life including:

  • loss of jobs and financial vulnerability
  • fear of infection
  • the shortage of particular goods and services

Common scams include:

Phishing

Phishing is when scammers impersonate a government department or trusted business to obtain your personal, business, or financial information. Phishing can lure you into providing those details, or prompt you to click on links or attachments that download software that steals this information or even damages your device.

Fake Charities

Scammers may pose as charities collecting money for people affected by COVID-19. They can either pretend to be a well-known charity or create their own charity name. Often, they pick a name that sounds close to a real charity, and set up fake websites that look similar to those run by the real charity.

Business Emails Compromised

Scammers may pretend to be a supplier or employee (including by compromising their email account or using their company logo and branding) to request payment or change bank
details.

For example, they may pose as a supplier and use COVID-19 as an excuse to request that you send your usual account payments to a different bank account.

Supply Scams

Supply scams use fake websites and social media pages to sell you products related to COVID-19 that you never receive, such as hand sanitisers, gloves, or surgical masks. They may also offer
to sell non-existent products that claim to prevent or cure COVID-19. As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out in Australia, scammers may ask you to pay for a vaccine, or get early access to a vaccine, for you or your employees. Be aware that COVID-19 vaccines are voluntary, free, and available to all people living in Australia. You cannot pay to get early access. Also, be aware that scammers
may try to sell fake COVID-19 vaccine certificates and related documents.

If you suspect a scam contact ScamWatch at https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/.

This article was sourced from https://business.gov.au/news/be-covid-fraud-aware.