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Identifying Scam or Phishing E-mails, Calls and SMS


Scammers use a wide variety of methods to impersonate legitimate businesses and organisations to get personal and private information from people.


Phishing is a way a cybercriminal steals your personal information. A phishing email will look like a genuine email from your bank, internet provider or any company you deal with asking you to click on a link which will then take you to a fake webpage which will then ask for your personal details, bank detail or other private information.


These emails, scam websites and text messages can be difficult to spot. Try to look out for incorrect spelling and grammar, poor layout, imagery and styling. For more information, head to the Scamwatch website.


To help protect yourself from these Scams, please visit Tips on How to Protect Yourself from Scams, Spam Email, Call and SMS - TPG Community





Latest known scams










 COVID-19 Scams


During these difficult times, it is business as usual for fraudsters and scammers who are using the spread of COVID-19 to take advantage of people across the country.


These scams can include:


  • Spam e-mail impersonating the Government or the ATO.
  • spam SMS claiming to be the ‘Australian Government Department of Health’ stating that ‘You’ve received a new message regarding the COVID-19 safetyline symptoms and when to get tested in your geographical area’. This SMS contains a link to a fake government website. This SMS was not sent by the Australian Government Department of Health.
  • There are also scams related to people’s superannuation.


If you receive these scams, please follow the below directions: 


You can find lots of useful information regarding the latest COVID-19 scams on the Scamwatch page.


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 Wangiri Fraud


Wangiri fraud is when you receive missed calls from international numbers you don’t recognise on either a mobile or a fixed-line phone. The fraudsters generating the missed calls hope that their expensive international numbers will be called back so that they can profit.


If you receive calls like this, be assured that you haven’t been specifically targeted. It’s likely that the fraudster has generated a missed call to a whole range of mobile numbers that happens to include yours.



What should you do if you get a suspected Wangiri call?


We recommend that you don’t return calls to international numbers that you don’t recognise. Calls to Wangiri numbers will often result in a charge being incurred and only encourages the fraudster to generate more missed calls to customers who choose to call back. If you think you’ve had a missed call from an international number that may be involved in this scam, let us know. Just send an email to and provide us with your mobile number and the international number you received the nuisance call from plus the date & time of that call.



What’s being done to address this issue?


We proactively monitor our network for Wangiri activity and shut down new fraudulent international numbers and number ranges as we find them. This is an issue affecting customers of mobile and fixed line operators around the globe, and we’re working with a number of different operators and industry groups to reduce Wangiri fraud levels.



The missed call scam


Mobile phone users across the globe are being targeted by overseas callers who make huge sums of money when the receiver calls back on the unknown number from which they missed a call. This is known as ‘Wangiri Fraud’. This type of fraud is not specific to TPG and appears to be on the rise.

Fraudsters call from international destinations. They will call a user and disconnect the call promptly before it is answered. They then wait for the person to call back. These numbers are charged at premium rates and, if the caller calls this number, they are hit with significant charges.



What happens if you do answer the call or call the number back?


They will engage you in a conversation and try to trick you into revealing details that can be used to defraud you.



What should I do?


Do not answer a call from an overseas number unless you recognise the number or are expecting the call. Do not return a call to an overseas number unless you recognise it. Do not give out any personal or business information such as banking or credit card details, pin numbers, birth dates or personal names and addresses. Do report the call and the number to TPG by emailing to help us fight back against the fraudsters.


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 Browser Pop Up Scam


We are aware of a pop-up scam, purporting to be from TPG, asking users to provide personal information by filling out a form to win a “prize”smartphone. This is a fake promotion and is not associated with TPG. TPG will never ask you to fill out forms with personal details to win a prize.


If you see this pop-up while browsing, please do the following:


  • Email a screenshot of the pop-up to as well providing details of which website you were on when the pop-up occurred
  • Don’t click on any links or fill in any details
  • Report the email to Scamwatch
  • Close the browser/tab


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 Fake TPG Scam


TPG is aware of an increase in falsified letters and statements from telecommunication companies. The falsified letters use the companies branding to appear legitimate and will be either sent via post or email.


The letters can be a threatening invoice, a request to update details or an email to congratulate you on winning a prize. It will ask you to call a number or visit a website to update details, pay a sum of money or claim your prize.


There are also fake SMS claiming to be from TPG, asking customers to verify personal information. The message states that ‘you have been selected as one of our lucky winners for a brand new iPhone’ and then requests for you to reply to a number with your full birth date. This message is not sent by TPG. Please do not reply to the message.


If you receive any mail or SMS from TPG, please do not follow any links to websites or call any numbers that are unfamiliar to you. If you suspect that it is a scam you may:



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 Scammers threatening Chinese communities in Australia


TPG is aware of a scam targeting our customers in Chinese communities. The calls are in Mandarin and the scammers are often posing as Chinese authorities.


The scammer will accuse the customer of either being directly involved in a crime relating to fake passports, or a victim who has had their bank details compromised. They will threaten the customer with jail time or deportation and will request the customer pay them in large sums of money to clear their name or have their issue investigated.


The scammers will try to intimidate the customer into either providing money or other personal details such as passport number. They do this using scare tactics in hope that the customer will not ask any questions and will instead provide requested details or pay them.


Once money has been paid to scammers, it is often unable to be recovered.


If you receive a call from someone threatening you with arrest or deportation in relation to fake passports, it is a scam. Do not send any money or provide any personal details. End the call immediately and report it to Scamwatch.


For further information, including information in Chinese languages, please visit the Scamwatch website.


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Related Topics:

Tips on How to Protect Yourself from Scams, Spam Email, Call and SMS

Forgot your TPG account password?



Contributed by Basil DV & Mel G