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Tax time phishing scam

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Everybody likes getting money back from the government at tax time. Getting a bigger tax return than you were expecting is even better. It’s this kind of thinking however that is giving online scammers the chance to trick people using professional looking emails that appear to come from the Australian Tax Office. The subject of the tax phishing email will be something like:

‘2009/10 Recalculation of your tax refund’.

The email will go onto explain that ‘your tax refund was miscalculated and you are due extra money... all you need to do is click this link and provide your bank account details to receive the extra money’. Now, alarms bells should be ringing here and clicking on the supplied link and entering your personal details is, of course, falling for the trap.

The tax phishing scam has been around for years, and seems to pop up every year around tax time. While phishing emails pretending to be from a credit union or building society can only work on members of those financial institutions, all Australians have to deal with the ATO. Additionally, if you are not an accountant, dealing with the tax office can be a confusing and tiresome matter. So, it’s easy to see why the criminals keep running these ATO related scams.

The ATO has a range of information and examples of the scams on their website. If you have the time it’s worth taking a look.