Fake SCAMwatch and Consumer Affairs Victoria emails

7 January 2011

SCAMwatch, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) are warning consumers to be alert following reports that fake emails are being sent claiming to be from SCAMwatch and CAV representatives.

Email correspondence from official Government agencies can be identified by the inclusion of “.gov.au” in the address, e.g. officer@accc.gov.au or officer@justice.vic.gov.au. SCAMwatch, the ACCC and CAV will not use a public email provider to contact you. We will only contact you via email to respond to an enquiry you have lodged with us or to provide you with information you have requested to receive through an ongoing subscription service.

Some of the fake emails have reportedly requested payments. SCAMwatch, the ACCC and CAV are free Government services and along with other consumer protection agencies will never ask you for your personal bank account details or request payments from you when you did not initiate the contact.

Warning signs

  • An email comes unexpectedly after a consumer responds to a lottery scratch-card offer received in the mail.
  • The email claims to be from CAV, sent on behalf of SCAMwatch. The email is sent from a non-government address.
  • Emails appear genuine as they contain a replica of a real CAV email signature block with genuine phone numbers, website, email and physical addresses.
  • Some of these fake emails can be recognised by the address scamwatchaus@xxxx.com.

Protect yourself

If you receive an unexpected email that appears to be from the ACCC, CAV or SCAMwatch:

  • do not respond. Do not open or reply to suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam) even to unsubscribe – delete them.
  • do not click on any links in a spam email, or open any files attached to them.
  • never send money or give personal, credit card or online account details to an organisation you don't trust.
  • if you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

If you are unsure if the email is legitimate contact SCAMwatch or CAV on the details below.

Contact SCAMwatch

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

Contact Consumer Affairs Victoria

Contact the Consumer Affairs Helpline on 1300 55 81 81. You can also dob in a scam via the CAV website.

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