The Australian Taxation Office has warned Australians about a fake ‘tax refund’ text that aims to dupe people into giving away their personal and banking details.
First seen in August last year, scammers have been sending unsuspecting people texts that seems to informs them they have a tax refund waiting to be collected, with a link included in the text.
“To make the text messages seem more legitimate, scammers are using technology that causes them to appear in your genuine ATO message feed,” the tax office said in a statement.
Clicking the link will take you to a fake myGov website, and will ask you for your bank details and other personal information for ‘verification purposes’.
“Do not click on any links and do not disclose the information requested,” the ATO warned.
“The ATO will never send an email or SMS asking you to access online services via a hyperlink.”
The tax office also urged Australians to warn friends and family about the scam.
“We've initiated disruption activity to protect the community from this scam, but it's a good idea to encourage your friends and family to keep an eye out.
“This is particularly important in the current environment, as scams often spike when people are most vulnerable.”
Get in touch with the ATO
If you need to get in touch with the real ATO, here are their details:
ATO website: ato.gov.au
ATO scam reporting hotline: 1800 008 540
myGov for your online tax affairs: my.gov.au
How to report a tax scam
If you want to report other scams you’ve seen, here’s who you should contact:
Scams related to the ATO: https://www.ato.gov.au/reportascam/#reportscam
Scams unrelated to the ATO should be reported 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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