Australian Government Taxation Office (ATO) Refund Email, Fax and Phone Scams
Sep 18, 2014
Every year scammers or cyber-criminals send out thousands of fraudulent Australian Taxation Office (ATO) email messages, to trick the recipients into sending money, personal, financial or other sensitive information. The Australian Taxation Office has issued an alert advising people not to click on links, open attachments or respond to email messages requesting money, personal or financial information, that appear as if it came from them. The same also goes for fax and phone calls.
Please continue reading below.
They are asking that people instead, to call the Australian Taxation Office to verify the information in the email message. Click here for their contact information.
They also state that if you have received an unsolicited fax and you are interested in what they are offering or asking you to do, make sure you research the fax before making any decisions.
This is what the Australian Taxation Office advises that you do if you receive the email messages, faxes and phone calls, which appears as if it came from them:
do NOT click on any links provided and to delete the email immediately.
If you have provided personal or bank details via this link, contact your financial institution immediately.
ATO, Centrelink, banks and financial institutions will never send emails requesting verification of personal details for any reason, including tax returns.
Never send your personal, credit card or banking details in an email or over the phone—scammers will use your details to commit identity fraud or steal your money.
If you receive unsolicited emails claiming to be from the ATO, Centrelink or your bank—delete them immediately!
If you are unsure whether you have received a legitimate request, call the organization by using contact details from legitimate sources. Don’t rely on contact details provided to you in an email or through the phone.instead, obtain contact details through an internet search, telephone directories or official letters/statements from organizations like banks.
Don't open any attachments or click on any links in, or reply to, these emails. This may result in downloading malicious viruses on your computer.
Ignore emails offering a tax refund
Always verify senders are genuine
Poor grammar and spelling are classic warning signs
Update anti-virus and anti-spyware
Contact tax office if in doubt
How the Scams Work
According to the Australian Taxation Office, this how the scams work:
You receive an email out of the blue from someone claiming to be from the ATO, informing you that you are entitled to a refund.
The email may appear to come from an official part of the ATO such as the ‘Tax Refund Department’, Tax Refund E-Portal, or Australian Taxation Office Online eTax.
The email may also appear to be from an official ATO email address such as ‘payroll.invoices @adp com', 'Taxrefund@portalservice.au', or 'refundsato.gov.au'.
In order to claim your refund, the email instructs you to confirm, update or disclose personal details by completing an online form.
To access the form, you must open an embedded link or an attachment.
If you open the link or attachment, your computer may be infected with malicious software.
If you fill in the form, you are handing over your personal details to a scammer, who may then use it to steal your identity and money.
How to Protect Yourself
They advise that you do the following to protect yourself:
If you receive an email from out of the blue from someone claiming that you are entitled to a refund just press ‘delete’.
If you’re not sure whether an email is a scam, verify who they are by using their official contact details to call them directly. Never use contact details provided by the sender – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
Watch out for tell-tale signs – whilst the sender may claim to be from an official source, their email may contain spelling mistakes or use poor grammar.
Never click on links or open attachments in an email from an unverified sender – they may contain a malicious virus.
Keep your computer secure – always update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and only buy from a verified source.
If you think you have provided your tax file number to a scammer, contact the ATO immediately.
If you want to update your tax details online, visit the ATO’s official website: www.ato.gov.au.
Never give out or clarify any information about yourself unless you know what the information will be used for.
Be careful of phone numbers beginning with 190 or overseas numbers – these are charged at a premium rate and can be very expensive.
How to Report Email Scams to the ATO
If you have received a fake ATO email or fax message, please send to: ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au, or call 13 28 61 (individuals) or 13 28 66 (businesses). Also report fraudulent ATO phone calls by calling: 1300 795 995.
If You are A Victim of a Tax Scam
If you think you have been a victim of a tax-related scam, the ATO recommended that you call them. This is because your personal information, including your TFN, may have been compromised. And, if you have provided your credit card and other financial information, please contact your bank/financial institution as soon as possible
Tax Refund Phishing Email Scams
Here are some samples of email ATO email scams.
Subject: Tax Refund Notice
Tax Refund Confirmation
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of 76850 AUD. Please submit the tax refund request and click here by having your tax refund sent to your bank account in due time.
Please Click "Get Started" to have your tax refund sent to your bank account, your tax refund will be sent to your bank account in due time take your time to go through the bank we have on our list.
Note: A refund can be delayed a variety of reasons, for examples submitting invalid records or applying after deadline.
Australian Taxation Office
Australian Taxation Office
After the last annula calculations of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $548.50 AUD.
Your Tax File Number is: 207835501
To access the form for your tax refund, please visit the link below:
Kindly complete the tax refund request and allow 12 working days to processs it.
Australia Taxation Office
Non-Resident Landlord scheme - Application to receive Australia rental income without deduction of Australia Tax
You are to forward our updated form NRLI to Landlords under your management for them to complete the forms and send back to us as soon as possible through fax number +61261693024 to protect their Australia tax exempt status.
You can use this form to apply to get your Australia rental income paid without deduction of Australia tax, if you:
-are an individual landlord of Australia p
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