Watch out for tax email scams

Don't be fooled by fake emails about your tax return.
 
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  • Updated:10 Jun 2009
 

01.Watch out for tax email scams

As tax time looms, there are emails doing the rounds that pretend to be from the Australian Tax Office. The emails are fakes and it is a phishing scam intended to trick recipients into providing personal information that will be used by criminals for identity theft or other crimes.

The subject line of the email may say ‘Tax Refund’ or something similar. The ‘from’ address for the email may be ato@refund.com.au or an address that includes ato.gov.au. The email is likely to urge you to register your details in a separate website to process your tax return. The emails are sent randomly and don’t relate to a legitimate e-tax return that you may have processed through the official Australian Taxation Office website in previous years.

If you receive an email similar to this, do not click on the links in it. Delete it and don’t under any circumstances reply. As a rule, never enter personal information into websites through links in emails. Always go directly to the website by typing the address yourself and verifying that the site is legitimate. If you’re still in doubt, ring the institution and check the website address. Banks and financial institutions never send emails about account information.

If you have revealed personal information that includes credit card or bank account details in response to an email, the information may have been captured by a criminal. Immediately notify your bank and the ATO.

For our full report on email scams, go to Email scams: how to avoid them.

This week marks national E-Security Awareness Week and the government is highlighting the importance of educating yourself about online risks. To protect yourself online, go to www.staysmartonline.gov.au. To find out about scams, go www.scamwatch.gov.au. And www.protectfinancialid.org.au will give you advice on how to protect your financial identity.

Further information about detecting and preventing being fooled by phishing attacks can be found at Stay Smart Online.
 
 

 

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