The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has recently issued a warning to consumers and businesses to be on the look out for carbon price scams, particularly calls asking for personal information in order to receive compensation.
The warning was issued in an email alert through SCAMwatch, the commission’s website in charge of providing information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.
SCAMwatch said that carbon price scams may come in a number of forms, targeting consumers and businesses. People are telephoned and asked to provide their bank account details.
For example scammers may phone you claiming to be from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) to offer you a grant for mortgage assistance under the Federal Government’s Household Assistance Package of up to $100,000.
These offers are false, said SCAMwatch adding that the public should beware of phone calls seeking personal banking details to which carbon ‘tax’ compensation would be paid.
The ACCC’s anti-scam website also said that scammers may also know your name, address and phone number and may try to make an appointment to visit you in your home.
Scammers may set up fake websites which look very similar to official Australian Government websites. The sites may ask you to enter your personal or financial details, or offer to sell you fake carbon credits.
The Australian Government will never call you to ask for your bank account details or to receive the Household Assistance Package, SCAMwatch advised.
Government services are never paid via money transfer services, nor will they ever ask you to send money this way.
The ACCC unit advised that if you receive a phone call or letter asking for personal information such as your Tax File Number, Veteran’s Affairs client number or banking details, do not answer straight away. Contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 or your nearest DVA office on 133 254 (or 1800 555 254 if in regional Australia) to confirm that the source is legitimate.
If you are a business, make sure you only deal with people you know and trust, ACCC advised. Scam can be reported to ACCC by calling 1300 795 995.