Su­per plan halted as crooks move in

The Advertiser - - CONFIDENTI­AL -

MOTHER-of-three An­drea Dunn is one of the many vic­tims who has had $10,000 stripped from her su­per­an­nu­a­tion ac­count with­out her con­sent.

It comes as the Aus­tralian Tax­a­tion Of­fice was forced to halt its early ac­cess to su­per­an­nu­a­tion scheme yes­ter­day af­ter cases of iden­tity fraud were de­tected.

Ms Dunn, 54, from Drouin in Gipp­s­land, Victoria, re­ceived a text mes­sage last month pur­port­ing to be from the ATO say­ing a new myGov had been set up in her name.

Then the next day she re­ceived an email from her su­per fund, Sun­su­per, say­ing $10,000 had been trans­ferred to a bank ac­count, how­ever she did not set up a new myGov ac­count, nor ap­ply for early ac­cess to su­per.

“I feel vi­o­lated and con­cerned and an­gry that it will hap­pen to oth­ers,” Mrs Dunn said.

“My con­cern now is there’s some­one pre­tend­ing to me and they’ve set up a bank ac­count in my name.”

She has re­ported the fraud to the ATO, her su­per fund and Sun­corp where the money was de­posited.

Ms Dunn was yes­ter­day told by Sun­su­per the money would be re­turned to her within the com­ing days.

This week the Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice were called in to in­ves­ti­gate fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­ity as­so­ci­ated with the early re­lease pro­gram that is un­der­stood to have af­fected about 150 peo­ple.

Un­der the scheme Australian­s must have been made re­dun­dant this year or had a sig­nif­i­cant drop to their in­come to be el­i­gi­ble.

Those who meet the cri­te­ria can ac­cess $10,000 this fi­nan­cial year and an­other $10,000 next fi­nan­cial year.

Lat­est fig­ures show 1.242 mil­lion ap­pli­ca­tions have been ap­proved to­talling $10.2 bil­lion.

The av­er­age with­drawal is $8211.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son

sent to a stern warn­ing to fraud­sters that if they get caught, the au­thor­i­ties “should fine them and lock ‘em up”.

Min­is­ter for Su­per­an­nu­a­tion, Se­na­tor Jane Hume said it was vi­tal peo­ple thor­oughly safe­guard their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

“You should treat your myGov ac­count like a bank ac­count and pro­tect your de­tails with the most strin­gent se­cu­rity mea­sures,” she said.

“Un­for­tu­nately un­scrupu­lous scam­mers reg­u­larly try to take ad­van­tage of Australian­s – at­tempted iden­tify theft is com­mon in ar­eas of fi­nan­cial ser­vices and our agen­cies main­tain con­stant vig­i­lance.”

But In­dus­try Su­per Aus­tralia’ chief ex­ec­u­tive Bernie Dean said the decision to sus­pend the early re­lease scheme could re­sult in fur­ther de­lays in get­ting money to cash­strapped ap­pli­cants.

“It may mean mem­bers in need who have ap­pli­ca­tions in process or were plan­ning to make ap­pli­ca­tions could face pay­ment de­lays,” Mr Dean said.

“The com­mu­nity ob­vi­ously needs to have con­fi­dence in the scheme at all stages in the ap­pli­ca­tion process.”

Pic­ture: IAN CUR­RIE

CON­CERN: An­drea Dunn who had $10,000 stolen from her su­per ac­count.

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