Taxpayers are being warned to beware of a new scam doing the rounds attempting to steal their personal information.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) said the scam text and email messages claim the recipient has a tax refund that has gone unclaimed. But following the prompts could have dire consequences.
“Beware of scams pretending to be us and trying to steal your myGov username & password,” the ATO said.
The text message scam claims the receiver has a tax refund that is available to claim, and encourages the recipient to click on a link. However, anyone receiving the text message has been urged to ignore it and not click on any links.
The email scam includes ATO branding at the top and claims the recipient has a $340 tax refund ready for collection once a form has been completed. Again, this is a scam and criminals are aiming to steal your personal information.
“Be wary of emails, phone calls and text messages claiming to be from the ATO,” the ATO said.
“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.”
How do you claim your tax refund?
The ATO will not process your tax refund on your behalf. If you are completing your taxes yourself you can do so through the ATO website and, once completed, if you are eligible for a tax refund, it will be automatically paid to your designated bank account.
If you are completing your tax return through a registered tax agent, your agent will submit your tax return and, again, the money will be automatically paid to your bank account.
“We won't send you an SMS or email with a link to log on to online services. They should be accessed directly by typing ato.gov.au or my.gov.au into your browser,” the ATO said.
“While we may use SMS or email to ask you to contact us, we will never ask you to return personal information through these channels.”