Women in Super (WIS) has warned Australians are being targeted by scams relating to the early release of superannuation, for Australians under financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and have been sent communications that look to appear from the Government.
WIS said in a statement that its chief executive, Sandra Buckley, received an email purporting to be from the ‘Services Department of the Australian Government’ and was titled ‘Subsidy Benefit Allocation’. The email requested Buckley provide full identity details including her name, address, and photocopies of documents, and her tax file number (TFN).
WIS said all contact from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) would take place through MyGov accounts or by text message notifications to the nominated phone number.
It noted that the ATO and other Government agencies would never request full identity details or their TFN by emails or by cold callers.
WIS also said that after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) told real estate agents to refrain from putting pressure on tenants to access their super before requesting a rent reduction, real estate agents were now calling tenants.
“They ask tenants to confirm that they have applied to access their super before they will consider a rent reduction. Using statements such as ‘accessing super is the Federal Government policy response to the COVID-19 crisis’ are reprehensible in this context,” WIS said.
“Tenants should not have to defend their super savings.
“Practices such as the above are despicable as they prey on vulnerable Australians, many of whom will be applying for the early release of their super as a last resort.”