Messaging app scam impersonates minister

·1-min read

Parliamentarians have been warned after cyber-criminals set up a fake Telegram app account in the name of Finance Minister Simon Birmingham and messaged contacts.

His old mobile phone is now with the AFP who are checking for any data compromise and working to get Telegram to shut down the false account, Senator Birmingham told a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday.

"After a sophisticated process of pretending to be someone else, it ultimately ends in a relatively crude attempt to get someone to transfer money to an international account," he said.

"It appears that an attempt at engagement with me by a person pretending to be an official proved to be what triggered the connection."

Only those who had their own Telegram account were targeted from his "account" and none of his other devices were compromised.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton alerted ministers and the Department of Parliamentary Services warned parliamentarians and staff after the weekend attack.

"Don't engage with it and don't click through to any of the things they suggest," Senator Birmingham said.

"I want people to just pay their taxes on time."