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Beware: new scam around early release of super

April 21st, 2020

A new scam has started after the recent Government decision to allow temporary early access to super to help those financially affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The Federal Government announced on Sunday 22 March that eligible individuals would be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation up to 1 July 2020, and up to another $10,000 between 1 July and 24 September.

Quick to pounce on an opportunity, fraudsters are phoning or emailing super fund members pretending to be agents who will help them through the application process for a fee. They may ask for member numbers and passwords for accessing member accounts online, and other personal details.

“The scammers’ aim is to take advantage of people in financial hardship, who are desperate for income due to losing their regular wages,” said First Super CEO Bill Watson.

“Members can apply through myGov directly. The process is free of charge and it’s unlikely that you would need a third party to help you with the online application.”

“If a First Super member does need support, our Member Services Team or their local Member and Employer Services Coordinator will be happy to help,” he added.

What to do if you’re targeted

We are urging members to be cautious about any phone call, SMS or email that they receive about early access to their super. If you are eligible, you will need to apply through myGov not your super fund or any third party.

It’s important to remember that:

  • Generally, First Super will not contact you by phone, email or text message asking for personal information (e.g. firstonline account password). We may call members to confirm details to release temporary early access to super monies.
  • Our administration team would request personal or financial details only in response to an enquiry or insurance claim from a member in relation to their First Super account.
  • The temporary early access to super application process is being managed the ATO – you can read the Government’s fact sheet here.

If you are worried that a phone call, email, or text message concerning your super is a scam, hang up or delete the message.

Members can also check whether a message about their First Super account is genuine by contacting our Member Services Team on 1300 360 988 or mail@firstsuper.com.au.

The ‘early access to super’ provision is designed as a last resort. Our dedicated Temporary Early Access to Super web page has useful information and FAQs on:

  • eligibility criteria and the application process
  • the impact of taking some of your super early
  • other important considerations
  • other sources of financial support and help with outgoings.