Scam alert: AFSA logo misused on request for US dollar transfer

AFSA has been made aware of a scam letter that includes the Australian Financial Security Authority logo, requesting US dollars in exchange for the release of a large sum of money.

The letter suggests that a transmission of funds in excess of $2 million has been intercepted, and will only be released following the payment of a release fee in US dollars.

AFSA Deputy Chief Executive Gavin McCosker urged clients to carefully assess requests for payment to ensure they are legitimate.

“While the illegal use of the Australian Government logo does make a request seem realistic, it is important to dig a little deeper to determine if the letter is a genuine communication from AFSA, or a fake,” Mr McCosker said.

“If you are bankrupt, or have been in the past, AFSA may write to you to request various payments. However, it is very unlikely that we would ever ask that you make those payments in US dollars.

“If you are contacted out of the blue, assess the letter or email closely – poor spelling and unusual language can be an indications of a scam. For example, a recent scam letter incorrectly referred to AFSA as the Australian Financial Services Authority throughout the document.

“Additionally, government departments including AFSA will never contact you asking you to pay money upfront in order to claim refunds or transfers.”

Mr McCosker suggests that those who are unsure if they have received a scam letter should contact AFSA to confirm.

“If you have received a letter from AFSA and want to confirm it is legitimate, our staff would be happy to help – you can contact us on 1300 364 785,” Mr McCosker said.

“Further information about active scams, including how to report suspicious activity, is available on the ACCC’s ScamWatch website, at scamwatch.gov.au.”

Useful links:

ScamWatch website - scamwatch.gov.au

AFSA contact information - afsa.gov.au/contact-us