Warning after phone scammers abused coronavirus fears to call random people and demand they pay $50 and hand over credit card details for an ‘urgent COVID-19 test’
- Phone scammers demanding $50 payments to send COVID-19 testing kits
- Woman said she received call from someone posing as COVID-19 contact tracer
- They told her she had been in contact with someone who was infected
- She was asked for her address and then details from her payment card
Scammers are demanding $50 payments over the phone as they pose as government health officials forcing people to buy COVID-19 testing kits.
A concerned woman warned in a Facebook post that she received a call from someone who posed as a coronavirus contact tracer.
They told the frightened Australian woman that she had been close to someone who had tested positive, and would need to pay to receive her own test in the post.
‘Good morning,’ the scammer said.
‘According to our system you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
‘This means that you now need to self-isolate for seven days and take a COVID-19 test.’
A man is seen getting a coronavirus test in Sydney’s Bondi on Wednesday (pictured) amid worrying claims that scammers are targeting people with fake testing kits
One woman warned in a Facebook post (pictured) that she received a call from someone who posed as a coronavirus contact tracer
The bogus caller went on to ask the woman for her home address under the guise they would send her the testing kit.
‘You need to be tested within the next 72 hours,’ the scammer said.
‘So can I just get the best mailing address so that we can send a kit to you?’
The unsuspecting woman shared her home address, but became suspicious after she was asked for her payment card.
‘Sorry,’ the woman said. ‘A payment card, I thought this was all free?’
‘No – I’m afraid not,’ the scammer responded.
‘There is a one-off fee of $50 for the kit and test results. Could you read off the long card number for me, please, when you’re ready.’
Scammers are demanding $50 payments over the phone so they can send COVID-19 testing kits to callers (pictured, a woman using her phone in a face mask in Melbourne)
The woman refused to hand over her details and received threats for her reluctance.
‘Can you give me the card number please,’ the scammer said. ‘This is very important and there are penalties for not complying.’
The woman immediately hung up the phone and put out a warning.
‘This is how scammers work and vulnerable people will fall for it.’
The warning comes amid a rising number of scams related to the pandemic, as fraudsters capitalise on people’s fears.
In May, a bogus email circulated under the guise of a MyGov account and demanded reparation from users for unnecessarily breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
‘We would like to inform you that you have been recorded as leaving your home on three occasions yesterday,’ the email reads.
‘A fine of $10 has been added to your my.gov account.’
Coronavirus tests are free, and no Australian should be asked to pay for them (pictured, nurse carries out a COVID-19 test at a pop-up clinic at Casula)