25 September 2023

Social Services warns on scammers

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The Department of Social Services (DSS) has warned against a new telephone scam in which members of the public are contacted by an individual or individuals identifying themselves as DSS Officers.

The Department said the callers told their victims they had been successful in obtaining a grant from DSS and were asked to make their way to their local Post Office and to stay on the phone.

“The callers seek personal information from the member of the public including bank details, passport and licence numbers,” DSS said.

It warned that the individual or individuals in no way represented DSS or the Commonwealth.

“DSS Officers do not announce outcomes of grant rounds via telephone or contact members of the public seeking personal information, such as banking, passport details or licence details,” the Department said.

It said impersonating a Commonwealth public official was, in some circumstances, a criminal offence carrying a penalty of imprisonment.

“If approached in this manner, we recommend that you do not give out any personal information and, if you are uncomfortable with the nature of the call or approach, just hang up,” DSS said.

“If you believe it to be a scam, you can report it to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission by calling 1300 795 995 or by visiting the Scamwatch website,” it said.

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