Government’s travel agent grants scheme comes under attack by scammers

Cyber attack using the phishing technique. Digital illustration.

Travel agents who have applied for a federal government grant under its sector-specific support scheme have been warned to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

According to an update issued last week on the Austrade website, there have been reports of “phishing attacks and other scams” regarding the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program.

“These include calls, emails or voicemail messages to travel agents saying that they are being pursued for fraud by Services Australia or Austrade,” the update said.

“If you have any suspicion that something is a scam, contact the Services Australia Scams and Identify Theft Helpdesk on 1800 941 126 or Services Australia staff can offer support and advice on what steps to take following a scam.

“If in doubt, contact the Services Australia Helpdesk. Never provide your user credentials or personal details and never click on a link to see where it goes.”

More than $61 million has been paid to nearly 1,600 businesses under the grants scheme, with a further 1,010 claims currently being processed, according to Tourism Minister Dan Tehan.

He has been urging agents to keep applying for a grant until applications close on 13 March 2021.

Featured image source: iStock/Andreus

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