Aussie veterans targeted by scam

3 September 2010

SCAMwatch is warning veterans to be cautious of potential scammers posing as representatives from the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).

Scammers are reportedly offering veterans false government services such as free electricity or pension benefits, in exchange for their personal information including banking details and DVA client numbers.

DVA is investigating the incidents and is aware of several approaches in both Victoria and Queensland, warning similar scams may surface in the other states and territories.

Please help SCAMwatch and the DVA to warn Australia’s veteran community about this scam. If you know someone who is a veteran, please pass on the following tips.

Protect yourself

  • If you receive a phone call or letter asking for your DVA client number or banking details, do not provide them. Contact your nearest DVA office to confirm the request is legitimate.
  • Be cautious if you are contacted out of the blue by someone claiming to be from ANY government department requesting personal information, always contact the organisation before responding using contact details from a trusted source.
  • NEVER give credit card or other personal details to someone you do not know and trust.
  • Do not open suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam)—delete them
  • Never send personal and account details via email or enter them into a website unless you are certain it is genuine and secure.
  • If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
  • If you think you have provided your DVA number to a scammer contact the DVA office.

Report

You can report a scam to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.

If you, or someone you know, has been approached by someone posing as a DVA representative contact your nearest DVA office on 133 254 or 1800 555 254 (for non-metropolitan callers).

More information

For more information about how you can protect yourself, check out the Requests for your account information (‘phishing’ scams) page on SCAMwatch.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has also issued a media release about the scam. [Link no longer available]

Read more