Scammers have been busy this tax season pretending to pass off as the Australian Taxation Office in a bid to steal your money and your personal information.
They’ve tried to reach you through scam emails, phone calls, voice messages, and even through WhatsApp, and now the ATO has again sounded the alarm on fake texts that ask Australians to claim their ‘ATO DIRECT refund’.
“Scammers are sending text messages to people, asking them to click on a link and provide personal identifying information to receive a tax refund,” the tax office said.
Here’s what the scam looks like:
If you click the link, however, you’ll be taken to a fake ‘Tax Refund’ form, the ATO warned.
“The aim of this is to steal your personal information.”
And if the sender looks like it’s from the real taxation office, it isn’t – scammers are getting good at manipulating technology in order to fool Australians into thinking they’re the real deal.
“The ATO does not have an online ‘Tax Refund’ form or website and we will never send an email or SMS asking you to access online services via a hyperlink,” the tax office said.
🚨 SCAM ALERT 🚨 We’ve seen an increase in #scam SMS offering fake tax refunds. Don’t click any links directing you to log on - even if the SMS seems legit! More info @ https://t.co/gASgV3U5vh #ScamsWeek19 pic.twitter.com/3LuM8rd8bQ— ato.gov.au (@ato_gov_au) August 16, 2019
You should always access your tax affairs through your myGov account available at my.gov.au.
Not the only ATO scam around
These are the tax time scams you need to watch out for:
Get in touch with the ATO
If you need to get in touch with the real tax office, here are their details:
ATO website: ato.gov.au
ATO scam reporting hotline: 1800 008 540
Report a tax scam
Have you seen another scam around? If you want to let the ATO know about it, here’s where you should lodge your concerns:
Scams related to the ATO: https://www.ato.gov.au/reportascam/#reportscam
If unrelated to the ATO, report it to Scamwatch: scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam
If you’ve received a suspicious text or email claiming to be from the ATO, forward them or take a screenshot and then email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au. Don’t forget to then delete the email or text.
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