Possible scam alert
The Department of Social Services (DSS) has recently received reports that members of the public have been contacted via phone and social media, by an individual or individuals offering government grant funding.
Some members of the public have reported the individuals claimed they were from the ‘Department of Social Services’, ‘Australian Grants Commission’ or the ‘Australian Government Grant Department’. Instructions were provided to the member of public on how to access their grant funding, which included paying a fee.
These claims are false and these individuals do not represent DSS or the Commonwealth.
DSS officers do not:
- cold call members of the public to promise grant funding
- contact members of the public seeking personal information, such as bank details, passport or license numbers.
It is a serious matter to impersonate a Commonwealth public official. It may even be a criminal offence carrying a penalty of imprisonment in some circumstances.
What to do if approached or if you need assistance
If approached in this manner, do not give any personal information. If you are uncomfortable with the nature of the call or approach, simply hang up.
We encourage you to report incidents of this nature. You can visit Scamwatch on www.scamwatch.gov.au to report to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and you can contact the DSS fraud reporting hotline on 1800 133 611.
If you contact DSS in the first instance, we will obtain as many details as possible from you about the incident, including your contact details. If appropriate, DSS will refer it to the police or other relevant authority including the ACCC.
If you have already provided information to a caller or are concerned that a crime has or may be committed, please immediately contact the police, your bank or the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) if it relates to your passport details.