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Coronavirus scam text message in circulation

Coronavirus scam text
Australians are being urged to look out for scam text messages that are circulating, pretending to be from the government. Photo: Getty
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Australians are being warned of a scam text message, capitalising on the coronavirus outbreak.

The message – appearing from sender ‘GOV’ – invites receivers to click through to a website to view information about COVID-19 testing in their area.

A screenshot of the text message circulating that installs harmful malware on devices. Photo: Scamwatch

Do not click on the link – it’s highly possible it will allow hackers to install malicious software on your device that could be used to hijack your finances or even total identity.

If you receive this text, just delete it.

If you have received the message and clicked the link, contact your bank immediately.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch service released an alert about the texts on Monday night, saying it had received several reports from the public.

To protect yourself from phishing and similar scam attempts, the government’s security arm recommends the following actions:

  • Don’t click on links in emails or messages, or open attachments, from people or organisations you don’t know.
  • Before you click a link, hover over that link to see the actual web address it will take you to (usually shown at the bottom of the browser window). If you do not recognise or trust the address, try searching for relevant key terms in a web browser. This way you can find the article, video or webpage without directly clicking on the suspicious link.
  • If you’re not sure, talk through the suspicious message with a friend or family member, or check its legitimacy by contacting the relevant business or organisation (using contact details sourced from the official company website).

For more detailed information and what to do if you have been scammed, head to staysmartonline.gov.au