SCAMwatch has joined with the Australian Government Department of Climate Change and the Commonwealth Grants Commission to warn consumers about anyone who approaches them with the offer of ‘grants for climate change’ or other government grants.
According to reports, scammers pretending to represent the Commonwealth Grants Commission or the non-existent ‘Federal Government Department of Grants for Climate Change’ have been calling consumers to inform them that they will receive a climate change grant or other government grants.
In some cases, the caller tells the consumer that the grant is a ‘reward’ for paying their tax on time. In other cases, the caller says the grant is provided because the consumer has overpaid their taxes. The amount for the grant varies from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
There is no such grant—it is a disguise for a phishing scam or advance fee fraud scam. Once the scammer has caught your attention, you may be asked to submit an application form or provide your bank account details so that the caller can ‘deposit’ the grant into your account. The caller may also request you pay hundreds of dollars in upfront fees before they can ‘deposit’ the grant money.
Remember—be suspicious of any calls that ask for your bank account details in return for offers of money.
For more information about the Australian Government’s initiatives to reduce Australia’s carbon pollution emissions, visit http://www.climatechange.gov.au.
Never send your personal, credit card or banking details in an email or over the phone—scammers will use your details to commit identity fraud or steal your money.
If you receive a call from out of the blue informing you that you have received a climate change grant or other government grants, hang up immediately!
Always get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment.
Check your bank account and credit card statements when you get them. If you see a transaction that you cannot explain, report it to your credit union or bank.
You can report this matter to the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502 or though the report a scam page on the SCAMwatch website.