Identify scams – staying safe in 2019

By Hank Jongen

Department of Human Services


AS we move into the new year, it’s important to be know how to protect yourself from scams.

Scammers can be very convincing. They may send emails, SMS messages or make phone calls pretending to be from our department.

Unfortunately, scammers can target people at any time.

However, there are a few ways to help identify whether it’s really us contacting you or actually a scam.


Phone calls:

  • We do make phone calls to people but unless you are expecting a call from us, it’s best to be cautious.
  • You should ask for the caller’s name and contact details, and then call them back to check the caller is from our department.
  • Emails and SMS:
  • We also use email and SMS to send important information, but messages from us won’t include your name or contact details.


It may include:

  • Requests and reminders to attend appointments.
  • Notification of payments.
  • Confirmation of changes to your details.
  • Notification of new letters in your myGov inbox.
  • We will never ask you to reply to these emails or SMS messages.
  • If you receive a suspicious email or SMS from someone claiming to be us, you should not open it, click on any links or reply to the sender.


What to do if you think you’ve been scammed:

There are a few things you can do if they think you’ve been scammed by someone pretending to be us.


If you gave personal information to the scammer, you should:

Call our Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk on 1800 941 126 as soon as possible.

Write down as much information about the scam as possible.


For more information about current scams and where to get more help, visit humanservices.gov.au/scams.

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About the Author: Eastern Shore Sun

The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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