Warning over ‘expired’ Medicare card scam

The scam text claims the recipient’s Medicare card has expired and they need to update their details.

Image of Medicare sign, Australians crossing the road and Medicare scam text message.
Scammers are texting people to tell them their Medicare card has expired. (Source: Getty/Facebook)

Aussies have been told to watch out for a new ‘Medicare’ scam text message that tries to steal their personal information.

Services Australia said it was aware of scammers texting people and incorrectly telling them their Medicare card had expired. The text message asks them to click a link to update their details.

“This message isn’t real. You don’t need to do anything when your Medicare card is about to expire. We’ll send you a new card about four to eight weeks before it expires,” Services Australia said.

Services Australia said it would never ask you to click on links or attachments, except for links on its website, on its official social media accounts, or in your myGov Inbox once you had signed in.

“If you’ve clicked a link or given your personal information to a scammer, call our Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk on 1800 941 126 straight away,” it said.

Fake Medicare emails

It’s the latest Medicare scam doing the rounds. Last month, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch also put out an alert about scammers sending fake Medicare emails.

The email claims the recipient’s Medicare services have been suspended because of incomplete customer medical records and asks them to click a link to update their details.

“Ignore the email and the instruction to reactivate your Medicare services - it's a scam. Ignore, delete, and report to Scamwatch,” it said.

Scam crackdown

The government is providing $10 million over the next four years to create a new SMS sender ID registry.

This registry will act as a blocking list and help stop scammers from impersonating major brands and government brand names, such as myGov and Medicare, in text message headers.

Text messages were the leading contact method for scams in 2022, accounting for 33 per cent of scam reports. Aussies lost more than $3.1 billion to scammers last year, an 80 per cent increase on the previous year.

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