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'It's important to spot new online tricks to protect yourself from scams,' warns anti-fraud officer

Scams faced by Sri Lankans who have recently migrated to Australia Source: Getty Images

Anti-fraud officer Jasmeen Kaur Pannu who works with a leading Australian bank, says scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-induced lockdowns to con unsuspecting people through new tricks. Tune into this podcast for expert tips to prevent online fraud.

Jasmeen Kaur Pannu says online scammers have evolved their conning methods during COVID-prompted lockdowns across the country. 


  • Scammers capitalise on pandemic as Australians lose record $851 million to scams
  • Anti-fraud officer Jasmeen Kaur says people must stay informed about the new methods used by scammers

Speaking about various kinds of online fraud, the anti-fraud officer says phishing activity has thrived during the pandemic, especially through government impersonation scams, where scammers trick people into giving out personal details, including photos, and identity documents and banking details.

"Scammers pose as government officials and inquire about a pending debt which does not exist. Often, they will send a follow-up email from a fake link to corroborate their claims. And once the unsuspecting victim clicks on the link, it gives scammers access to their personal details," she warns.


Jasmeen Kaur Pannu
Anti-Frauds officer in one ofAustralia's leading bank.
Jasmeen Kaur Pannu

Ms Pannu says people have also been scammed in the name of love. 

“Whether its the ageing or the young population, everyone has been hard hit by these scams. Dating websites have become a common platform where people are lured into coughing up their hard-earned money, and in some cases, these meetings can also result in dangerous consequences," she adds.

Ms Pannu says it's important to stay informed about new methods used by scammers in order to prevent online fraud.

She advises that people must never disclose their personal details to strangers over the phone.

"The best way is to verify. In case of bank-related scams, call your bank or check your statements carefully before divulging your personal details to someone you are hesitant to trust. If you detect something suspicious, report to the concerned institution or reach out to the police in the first instance," she says.

More information on coronavirus scams is available on the Scamwatch website, including how to make a report and where to get help.


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People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 meters away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at

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