Scam warning: Fake '(AFSA) Stop Order' email

AFSA has been made aware of a fake email that appears on our letterhead, and includes the copied signature of a senior AFSA employee.

The scam email, which has the subject line (AFSA) Stop Order, requests that a USD $34,740 ‘clearance fee’ be paid within four working days. It states that once the clearance fee is paid, close to $1 million worth of gold will be released by AFSA to the recipient of the email.

AFSA Deputy CEO, Gavin McCosker, described how people can identify if they have received a scam letter or email.

“While this email looks like it is from AFSA at a glance, there are some obvious signs that it is a scam,” 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, and we would never ask that you make payments via gift cards.

“That would be a clear indication that the request is a scam.

“The scam email suggests that we play a role in administering the import of gold, and that’s just not the case. We would only be writing to you in relation to personal insolvency or the Personal Property Securities Register.

“And finally, like most things in life – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The scam states that if the recipient pays $34,000, they will receive close to $1 million worth of gold in return.”

Mr McCosker outlined what people can do if they are unsure if they’ve received a scam email or letter.

“In the first instance, contact AFSA by calling 1300 364 785,” Mr McCosker said.

“Please don’t just ignore emails or letters you receive that appear to be from AFSA – they could contain important legal information. Our helpful service centre staff will be able to look up your account and check if the letter or email you’ve received is legitimate.

“If you believe you’ve received a scam letter or email posing as AFSA, or any other organisation, you should visit the Australian Government’s ScamWatch website. The ScamWatch website lists all of the new scams that have been reported, and you can also report a suspected scam yourself.”

More information

ScamWatch website - scamwatch.gov.au

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