Australians have been warned to be on the lookout for a new COVIDSafe hoax.
The warning, issued on Thursday by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), identifies a scam message purporting to be from the MyGov website. The email titled “COVIDSafe Alert” tells the recipient they have been recorded leaving their home on three occasions and as a result they have been fined ten dollars.
“Don’t be fooled by this COVIDSafe ALERT email impersonating myGov,” the ACCC’s Scamwatch posted on Twitter.
People who receive the message are being urged to not click any links and to just delete it.
The latest COVIDSafe hoax email comes after a number of similar fake messages have hit Australian’s inboxes and social media feeds this week, following the government’s launch of the app on Sunday.
The app, which is fee to download, creates a Bluetooth digital handshake when a phone is within 1.5 metres, for at least 15 minutes, of another phone with the app. The aim is that if a phone’s owner is later diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by infection of the novel coranavirus, it is easy for health authorities to conduct rapid contact tracing.
The app initiative is part of the Australian government’s plan to suppress the virus’s spread as the country moves to ease lockdown measures.
By Thursday over 3 million Australians had voluntarily downloaded the COVIDSafe app. The government has stated that it requires at least 40 per cent of the nation’s 25 million people to have the app for it to be as effective as planned.
By 3pm on Thursday, Australia had recorded 6,753 cases of COVID-19, with 91 deaths.