The COVID-19 pandemic means that many more Australians are working from home as well as managing their finances and conducting their banking online.
Scammers are taking advantage of the current disruption, hoping that people will be less vigilant and as a result, more susceptible to fraudulent emails and text messages.
Scammers often impersonate government agencies offering information on the COVID-19 virus. However, the aim of these emails and text messages is to phish for your information. If you click on any of the links or attachments, you may compromise the security of your personal and financial information.
There have also been scams targeting members who are suffering financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These scam messages often look like they come from a super fund or a financial planning service, and they may offer to help people access their super, or request to check details of the person’s super account.
It’s important to note that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is managing all the applications for early release and there is no need to pay a fee for the application to be processed.
Members should not provide personal information to anyone who contacts them to ask about their super, or anyone who offers to help withdraw money under the current changes that allow temporary early access to super.
For more information on current COVID-19 scams including examples of scammers’ emails and text messages, visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website.
You should be careful not to click on any hyperlinks or attachments even if it appears to come from a legitimate source.
Instead, search for the organisation’s website through your browser to find the relevant information. For example, type ‘LGS’ to find Local Government Super or ‘myGov’ to find the myGov portal. You can also contact the organisation using the details on their website.
You should also never reply to any unsolicited emails or text messages that directly ask you to provide personal or financial details. Just delete the email or the message.
If you receive any unsolicited calls from organisations or individuals offering to help you access your super, usually for a fee, do not provide any information about your super to the caller. You should decline their offer and hang up.
The ATO is managing all the applications for early release and there is no need to pay a fee for your application to be processed.
You should call us immediately on 1300 LGSUPER (1300 547 873) between 8.30am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, or leave a message outside of these hours.
We can put a hold on your account, preventing any withdrawals to be made without your authorisation, and monitor your account for any unusual activity.
You should also contact your bank or financial institution.
If you think your identity may have been compromised, you can contact IDCARE, a free government-supported service which will work with you to develop a specific response plan to your situation and support you through the process.