A scam targeting Australian taxpayers is becoming increasingly common, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) says.
Emails are being sent out, claiming to be from “myAu Tax Office”, saying additional details are required about the recipient’s most recent taxation claim.
It then invites them to verify their claims via a “secured link” included in the email.
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It goes to great lengths to appear legitimate, even telling recipients: “We use hyperlinks to give you more information. If you don’t want to click hyperlinks, you can search for the information on the ATO website.”
A scam targeting Australian taxpayers is becoming increasingly common, the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) says. Credit: 7NEWS.com.au
An increasing number of Australians were being targeted by these scams, an ATO spokesperson said.
“This email scam, and variations on it, are one of the more common email scams being reported by the community to the ATO,” they said.
“The ATO encourages taxpayers to be wary of scam emails, phone calls and text messages claiming to be from the ATO.
“If you think a phone call, SMS, voicemail, email or interaction on social media claiming to be from the ATO is not genuine, do not engage with it.”
If you think you’ve been sent scam content, you call the ATO on 1800 008 540 or report it via the ATO’s verify or report a scam page.
The spokesperson urged people to be careful when downloading attachments or clicking links.
“Always access ATO online services directly by typing ato.gov.au, my.gov.au into your browser or the ATO app, not by following a link,” they said.
How to avoid scams
Australians lost a huge $74 million to online scams last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reports.
It says a website is probably a scam if it:
Sells items at significantly lower prices than usual or when compared to other sites;Has something unusual about the payment method, such as only offering a single payment option or asking for payment via gift cards or Bitcoin;Only includes positive reviews or reviews light on detail;Includes an urgent warning or error message asking you to click a link; andAdvertises a way to make quick, easy money with little or no risk or effort.
Report scams to the platform it has happened on, and to the ACCC via the report a scam page to help alert others.
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