ACMA warns of spike in scams

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a scam alert warning Australians to be wary of suspicious emails or SMSs claiming to be from online gambling websites offering credit or in-game bonuses.

ACMA has identified a significant spike in reports about these emails and SMS scams which attempt to lure people into clicking on links by promising offers of free upfront credit or free spins.

ACMA member Fiona Cameron said: “scammers are trying to obtain personal details, and to spread computer viruses and malware. If you receive one of these messages, delete it and do not respond or click on any of the links.”.

ACMA believes the scam is circulating widely after identifying over 6000 email and SMS reports since the start of this year.

The most common sites these messages claim to come from are offshore gambling sites:

  • Roo Casino
  • Pokie Spins
  • Bonza Spins
  • Syndicate Casino


Ms Cameron said this is a particularly nasty and widespread scam which attempts to prey on people with gambling problems.

“There’s no such thing as free money. Don’t let yourself be conned into believing you have any credit or bonuses with these casinos - you don’t,” Ms Cameron said.

“This is just a phishing expedition to steal your identity or infect your computer with malicious malware. Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

More information on how to protect yourself from scams and cyber-attacks is available at:

A list of legal gambling operators in Australia, can be found here:

If you need help with gambling problems, contact Gambler’s Help on 1800 858 858 or visit:

Have you seen any of these gambling offers or promotions?


I would like to add some advice about how you delete emails and messages. When you delete an email it is simply moved to your "Delete" folder. It is not deleted. It is still stored on your computer. That's why you can "undelete" emails from your "Delete" folder or your recycle bin.

To delete a file from your computer you have to delete it from your "Delete" folder. That means you have to delete the file from your Inbox, then delete it from your Delete folder.

Good advice.  It is also a good idea to take a few seconds to have your antivirus programme scan it in case there is malware in the mail, if any is found most programmes will then delete it and will then scan your computer to check whether it has escaped from the mail and infected the computer, if so it will take the appropriate actions..

Agree, good advice V1K1. Similar applies to mobile phones ... delete messages then delete again in the bin.

Thanks AutumnOz. I'd never thought about running an antivirus scan before deleting the message. Good advice.

From The Sydney Morning Herald, yesterday:

Cyber criminals, hackers profit from coronavirus chaosBy Cameron Houston

Cyber criminals are already seeking to profit from the global chaos created by coronavirus with the emergence of several fake websites that purport to offer public information about the pandemic, but secretly access private details.

A phishing email purporting to provide information on coronavirus.

A phishing email purporting to provide information on coronavirus.

Malware has also been sent via emails and SMS messages that claim to provide updates on the spread of COVID-19, but harvest confidential information such as usernames and passwords.

One website that claims to be associated with a medical agency in the US offers a "list of new cases around your city" and includes a corrupted link that allows the malware to enter servers. Other phishing emails ask for bitcoin donations to assist with the development of a vaccine.

Read the full story here

Was phoned by a robot yesterday saying my card had been used to buy $550 worth of goods on eBay. Went on to say that if the purchase was not legitimately made by me to dial 1 to speak to the customer service representative.

I hung up of course. Have not been afflicted by this particular scam before - has anybody else? It seems to be a new one so putting this up to warn people.


To make a comment, please register or login

Preview your comment