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Australian Government Cautions of Stimulus Package Mail Scams

Australian residents have been alerted not to reply mails which ask for their private information for the household stimulus package of Federal Government.

The Australian Federal Police claims that they are inspecting hoax mails which appears to have come from Centrelink [Australian Government Statutory Agency] and the Tax Office that directs users to reveal their private details like name, date of birth and address to get the Federal Government's one-off bonus payment of up to $950 which is due to be started from March 2009.

The mail adds that users are required to complete an attached application to provide their details. The security experts commented that this information is used by hackers for ID fraud.

Further, Human Services Minister, Joe Ludwig, said that users are not required to apply for the money, as reported by ABC News on February 19, 2009. He also claimed that Centrelink would not ask for information through mail so users should not reply to it. Joe also disclosed that Centrelink already has all the information required for processing these payments to concerned families and students and it will make the payment in the user's account via their normal pay cycle after March11, 2009.

Further, Police also asks the users not to open any attachments or links and do not to respond to these mails. Moreover, they should erase the mail as soon as possible from their inbox as well as from their trash and deleted folder. In addition, users should ensure that spam filters of their computers are updated.

Security experts further state that there are innumerable spams ranging from tax credit scams to the more recently discovered stimulus payment scams. With tax scams are becoming more advanced, it is hard to distinguish between what is a scam and what is a legitimate.

During February 2009, Australian Tax Office (ATO) cautioned about a mail scam carrying its logo. The mail asks user to update private and credit card details in return of a tax refund.

Related article: Australian Blogger Uses Spam To Boost Blog

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