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Millions warned of Service NSW $400 ‘subsidy’ scam

·2-min read
Keyboard with word 'scam?' written on it, inset image of Service NSW logo.
If Service NSW seems to be offering a $400 subsidy, think twice. (Images: Getty, Service NSW).

Australians have been warned to stay alert against scammers posing as Service NSW while offering $400 ‘subsidies’.

Government scam authority, Scamwatch, sounded the alarm on Monday morning, sharing screenshots of the scam emails.

Also read:

In the emails, the scammers tell potential victims that they may be eligible for an “additional subsidy” and to “confirm” their eligibility by following a link included in the email.

“Clicking this link takes you to a website that looks like myGov – but check out the url – it’s a fake!” Scamwatch said.

“Delete these emails, don’t click the links or provide your info.”

The Scamwatch warning comes as NSW residents use Service NSW to access their vaccination certificates, Dine and Discover vouchers and to check in to venues.

Tsunami of scams

Its warning comes amid an explosion of scams targeting Australians in 2021.

Scamwatch has recorded nearly $223 million in losses to scams so far this year - already eclipsing the $175.6 million lost to scams in all of 2020.

“It’s very concerning to see these scams evolving and becoming more sophisticated to steal even more money from unsuspecting people,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chair Delia Rickard said in September

“While the proportion of reports involving a financial loss has dropped this year, the people who do lose money are losing bigger amounts. The average loss so far this year is about $11,000 compared to $7,000 for the same period in 2020.”

Most scams are delivered by phone, however the second most popular mode of delivery is email, with Scamwatch receiving 47,502 different reports of these scams this year. Collectively, Australians have lost more than $35 million to email scams this year.

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