CovaU Energy

HOW TO SPOT
A SCAM

How may we assist you?

We offer solutions to your queries and provide detailed, step-by-step instructions for accomplishing tasks.

Our 24/7 Customer support is ready to answer your questions.

CALL US

Not sure if that email or text from us is real? This is what you should look out for.

How to spot scams

  1. Look out for spelling mistakes or bad grammar – these are often a clue that it’s not from us

  2. Look carefully at any links – do they point to origin.com.au or originenergy.com.au? We’ve seen scam websites posing under originnergy.com.au so look very carefully at the website address

  3. The only safe and trusted way for you to pay your Origin bills online is via My Account, or at covau.com.au. Anything asking you to make an CovaU payment outside of those could be a scam.

  4. Never reply to text messages with personal details, especially not credit card or bank account details

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed

If you think you’ve been scammed, it’s important you act as soon as you can.

  1. Contact your bank immediately and get their advice on whether to cancel your cards or block your accounts

  2. If you’ve “logged in” to the scam website using your My Account details, contact us ASAP so we can help you reset your password. If you use the same password on other websites, you should change those as well

  3. There are free services like ID Care and CreditSavvy that can help you with free ways to protect yourself again ID and Credit fraud. Read more about these at our post on keeping your details secure online.

How to reduce scam calls and scam SMS

Phone and SMS scams are getting more prevalent and unfortunately they’re getting more sophisticated at getting people to hand over their money or personal information.

Have you ever answered a call from a number that looks innocent, but has a robot at the other end?

Or maybe you’ve heard, “I’m calling from the tax office and letting you know the outstanding payments must be paid ASAP.”

If you hear this, just hang up!

Scamwatch, an Australian government site dedicated to reducing the number of scam SMS and calls found 50% of the 286,622 scams reported in 2021, were contacted by a phone call. SMS scams contacted 23% of the people scammed.

A good rule to follow is even if you’ve got 1% of doubt about the call or SMS – just hang up or delete the SMS.

If you’re wondering if the call or SMS was legitimate, contact the tax office, bank or other company via the details listed on their website to ask.

And if you do owe the tax office money, or your bank account has an issue with it, ask either the local branch or contact centre about your account status.

Remember: NEVER call or text back as this will confirm your number exists.

Common examples of scam calls and SMSs

  • Issues with your bank account – “There were irregularities, and they need your details to confirm it’s you”

  • Payments to the Tax department – “You owe $2,000 and need to pay now”

  • You’ve won a competition – “You’ve won a $10,000 random prize”

  • Fake charity – appeal to your human side to donate to a fake charity

  • Jobs and employment – pyramid schemes and offers of work if you pay for a ‘training course’

  • Tech support for your computer (remote access) – “You have a virus, and we want to log in to your computer to get rid of it for you”

  • False billing – You are sent an invoice

  • Dating & romance scams – A love interest from a dating app is asking for money

  • Threats to life – “If you do not pay, we will hurt you or your family”

  • Online shopping scams – fake items

  • Law enforcement – someone posing as the police/border force/customs

Scam phone call red flags

Some common red flags to listen out for include the following:

  • You don’t recognise the number

  • Private number

  • Sounds like a robotic voice

  • Poor call quality

  • Aggressive/ threatening/ unprofessional tone of voice

  • Needing immediate access to your computer

  • International number DO NOT CALL BACK!

  • Asking for financial details, like a credit card or bank details

  • Asking for personal details like your full name, date of birth and address

  • You weren’t expecting a call

SMS red flags

  • It doesn’t use your name (but some scam SMSs will use your name)

  • A generic SMS

  • Asks you to click a link

  • You don’t recognise the number

  • Asks you for personal detail

  • Spelling or grammar errors

  • Asks you to respond ASAP

How to report a scam

  • If you come across a scam, please report it to Scamwatch. This will help increase the awareness of it. Report the scam here so others aren’t affected by it – https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam

  • Let your family, friends, colleagues and fellow businesses know about scams you’ve come across

  • Report the scam if it occurred on social media

How to be safer

  • Don’t give your details or send money

  • Let the phone call go to voicemail and then listening to any message left to see if it could be genuine

  • Block and delete any numbers or SMSs that is suspicious or unknown

  • Regularly review and update your social media privacy settings

  • Register your phone on the do not call register – https://www.donotcall.gov.au/

  • Choose strong and secure PINs and passwords

  • Regularly update PINs and passwords

  • Keep your mobile and computer secure. Regularly check for security updates

  • Never share your PINs or passwords

  • Do not download or click on anything suspicious

  • Be careful when shopping online and consider using platforms like PayPal to act as middleman when paying for items

And remember – if it’s too good to be true, it probably is!

What to do if you’ve been scammed