It’s tax time and the common scam email informing that you’re eligible for a tax refund is doing the rounds again!
Scammers have long used the promise of a tax refund to trick people into sharing their personal information or to download malware.
The email, which has the subject line ‘Important information regarding your account’, includes the myGov logo and claims to be from the myGov team. Instead, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information.
The email asks you to click on a link to claim your refund. If you click the link a fake tax refund claim form will open in your browser.
The form asks for your name and contact details, your myGov password and your credit card number. After you supply this information and click the ‘Continue’ button, you’ll be automatically redirected to the myGov website. By then it’s too late and the scammer has your details.
The scammers use this information to commit credit card fraud and identity theft.
If you receive an email like this one, do not click any links or open any attachments.
Remember: the ATO and myGov will NEVER send an email or SMS asking you to click on a link and provide login, personal or financial information, download a file or open an attachment.
How do I stay safe?
Know the status of your tax affairs. If you are aware of the details of any debts owed, refunds due and lodgments outstanding, you are less likely to fall victim to a scam.
Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid an email scam:
- Be suspicious of messages offering you a tax refund in return for a fee, or ‘confirmation’ of your details.
- Login to your official myGov account to check your status or contact your registered tax professional.
- Do not click on links in emails or text messages claiming to be from myGov. myGov will never send you a text, email or attachment with hyperlinks or web addresses.
- Don’t open messages if you don’t know the sender, or if you’re not expecting them.
- Be suspicious of messages that aren’t addressed directly to you, or don’t use your correct name.
- Login to your official myGov account by typing the web address into your browser, to check your inbox for any legitimate emails.
- The messages you get in your official myGov Inbox are secure and it is safe to open links included in myGov Inbox messages.
- If you’re ever unsure about the validity of a tax related message or phone call, contact the ATO Scam Hotline on 1800 008 540, or visit ato.gov.au/scams
If you are concerned that your personal information has been compromised and misused, you can contact Australia’s National Identity and Cyber Support Service, IDCare or use their free Cyber First Aid Kit.
If you have been a victim of a cybercrime such as fraud, report it to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).
Read more about how to protect yourself from email scams.