Scammers advertising fake Centrelink bonus for pensioners

Article published 13 June 2024

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Heard of the $400 Centrelink bonus for pensioners? Or maybe it was $750, or $1500...?

Unfortunately, we have some bad news for you. It doesn’t exist.

Recently CPSA has received several emails and calls asking for information on a Centrelink bonus for pensioners. The amount of money that has been mentioned varies, but is often either $400, $750 or $1,500. Please be aware that no bonus for pensioners has been announced by the Australian Government.

There have been similar payments in the past, but there is nothing in the pipeline currently.

It might be that you heard something about this from a friend or acquaintance, or that you searched online for information. CPSA has also heard that some people have received text messages asking them to click on a link to either find more information or apply to receive this ‘bonus’.

Please, if you receive contact via telephone or email regarding a Centrelink bonus, do not provide any personal information. Be aware that any websites that are not run by the Australian Government (the website will end in ‘’) could potentially be a scam.

What is happening?

If you have received a text message or email about a bonus or other payment, please do not click on any links or provide any personal details.

There are no bonuses planned for 2024-2025, except for the $300 energy supplement that will be applied directly to household energy bills.

There are a number of fake websites out there who are benefiting from spreading this false information. It is possible that some of these websites are set up to scam you out of personal details or money, but it seems that most are there just to get your eyes on their page so that they can collect revenue from ads.

It’s a dirty trick to play at a time when people are struggling to pay their bills. We’ve done some work to try and get these sites taken down, but it’s a long battle.

Some ways to avoid scams

If you answer a call that is supposedly from a trusted source such as Centrelink, Australia Post or your banking institution, you should call them back using a verified number (perhaps from a bill, statement or other correspondence). If you ever receive a message or email out of the blue that says to follow a link, you should not click on the link. It is better to be suspicious than to fall victim to a scam.

There is no time that any of these organisations should ever contact you in this way to ask for your personal details, nor should they pressure you to share your information immediately without letting you verify who is actually contacting you.

If the offer seems too good to be true and there is a time pressure, it is most likely a scam.

What to do if you get targeted

  • Contact your bank or card provider immediately to see if they can stop or recover any payments or charges; you can also contact the financial ombudsman if you feel that their response is not good enough.
  • Change your passwords, especially those you use for banking, government services and online shopping.
  • Run an anti-virus scan.
  • If you have lost money you can make a report to the police in person or through ReportCyber.
  • You can also report to ACCC SCAMWATCH – they cannot help you recover money or find a scammer directly, but they can use your information to shut the scammer down.
  • Talk to IDCARE (1800 595 160), Australia’s national identity and cyber support service. They can connect you with a specialist identity and cyber security counsellor.
  • You can also report the scam to a retailer if their name was used to trick you or leave a review online to warn others.
  • Contact Service NSW if you need to replace NSW government documents. If you are outside of NSW, contact the government department that issues driver licences in your state.
  • Seek out support if you need it, such as a financial counsellor or if you just need to talk you can call a crisis line such as Lifeline, who can be contacted at 13 11 14 or through their website.

For now, please be advised that there is no one-off Centrelink payment coming in 2024.

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