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Seniors Card ‘scam’ website responded to Government warning

The website intended to charge senior Australians for a free service.

<p>The website was accused of misleading older Australians in a bid to charge them for a free service. [Source: Shutterstock]</p>

The website was accused of misleading older Australians in a bid to charge them for a free service. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • State and Territory Governments provide Seniors Cards free of charge
  • If you or someone you know was the victim of a scam, contact your bank immediately and file a report via ScamWatch — the Government’s National Anti-Scam Centre
  • If scammers have been successful, they will try to get more money — one in three victims of a scam have experienced ‘secondary scamming’

 

The official SA and WA Seniors Card websites have alerted older Australians about the existence of a fraudulent website that is believed to mislead and charge older people paying for the Seniors Card.

The website, which claimed to be ‘officially approved’ claimed to charge a $29 dollar fee for Seniors Card applicants, although the legitimate Government websites warned that the service is free of charge and will not require seniors to disclose their banking details.

According to Western Australian Ministers Don Punch and Sue Ellery, the website had been reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

“This bogus site is yet another example of the insidious methods employed by scammers to take advantage of vulnerable people,” Ms Ellery said.

“As always, I urge people to exercise caution and ‘practice the pause,’ which involves stopping to think before clicking on a link or attachment in an email or transferring any hard-earned money.”

The ‘Scam Warning’ posted to the SA Government Seniors Card websitewww.seniorscard.sa.gov.au — gained media attention from outlets such as The Advertiser, prompting the ‘misleading’ website, www.seniorscardportal.au, to post an update.

The update posted to the top of the ‘scam’ website stated that those who operated the platform were aware of illegitimacy concerns:

“Please be informed that Seniors Card Portal is a private service aimed at simplifying the Seniors Card application process across all Australian States,” the update stated.

“We are not affiliated with any Government entity and our goal is to offer a unified portal for quicker eligibility checks, streamlined processing and meticulous verification of information.”

Council on the Ageing Australia Chief Executive Officer Patricia Sparrow said scams targeting older people were “unfortunately not uncommon and need to be stamped out.”

“Everything possible should be done to ensure older people are protected from unscrupulous operators.,” the COTA Australia CEO told Talking Aged Care.

“In this case, the WA and SA Governments have confirmed that this is a fake website and advised older people that the application process for the Seniors Cards is free of charge.

“Dealing effectively with scams is obviously difficult, but we do need to see swift action from our Governments, which we did see with the SA and WA Governments advising seniors when they became aware of the issue..”

 

Have you or had someone close to you fallen for something dodgy? Let the team at Talking Aged Care know. For more information about staying safe online and to report bad actors, visit ScamWatch and Cyber.gov.au.

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