Australia. Watch out for 2023 taxtime SMS and email scams

Cristina POPOV

August 28, 2023

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Australia. Watch out for 2023 taxtime SMS and email scams

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is warning Australians to delete text messages (SMS and emails) that encourage them to claim Centrelink payments or verify tax statements and status through the link provided. The link from this communication, pretending to be an official alert from ATO, leads to a fake myGov sign-in page designed to steal usernames and passwords.

According to the ATO website, scammers use many different phrases to try and trick people into opening these links. These include (but are not limited to):

  • 'You are due to receive an ATO Direct refund'
  • 'You have an ATO notification'
  • 'You need to update your details to allow your Tax return to be processed'
  • 'We need to verify your incoming tax deposit'
  • 'ATO Refund failed due to incorrect BSB/Account number'
  • 'Due to receive a refund, click here to receive a rebate'

Please remember that ATO will never send you an SMS or email with a link to log on to online services. Whenever you want to check your tax status, type or into your browser and access platforms directly.

Report scammers and check your digital footprint

If you receive this type of email/SMS, report it immediately to [email protected].

You should also be cautious with any out-of-the-blue contact, for example, fake social media accounts impersonating the ATO. In January 2023, there was an increase in counterfeit accounts asking users to send them a direct message so they could help with their inquiry. Those behind these accounts were trying to steal your personal information, including phone numbers, email addresses, and bank account information.

If you had a suspicious interaction but wanted to know if you revealed important data, check out now. Use Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection to see which personal information is on the internet and where: passwords, physical addresses, and credit card details.

With Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection, you can see your digital footprint at a glance, check your breach history, and map risk. In case of being involved in a breach, you receive notifications about the event, details about your data, and easy, 1-click action items to minimize risks.

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Cristina POPOV

Cristina is a freelance writer and a mother of two living in Denmark. Her 15 years experience in communication includes developing content for tv, online, mobile apps, and a chatbot.

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