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ATO Phishing refund scams

A phishing email that claims the recipient is entitled to a "tax refund" is currently circulating and states recipients should click on the embedded link or open an attachment to complete an online form to receive the refund. These emails can differ in their appearance and level of sophistication.

The ATO has received numerous complaints about an email, which usually includes the words 'Tax refund' in the subject heading and the following text:

'General information about e-tax, including the demonstration, benefits of using e-tax, computer and eligibility requirements, and security.'

There may be other variations to the subject and text. To see other variations of this phishing scams, visit the ATO website.

These emails go to great lengths to convince recipients it is genuine-they even contain a replica of the ATO's logo and a link to what appears to be the ATO website.

Consumers are asked to provide details such as their name, email details, date of birth, address and banking details in order to search for any tax refunds. The email may also direct consumers to a bogus Taxation Office website and asks for personal information and credit card details.

If you receive this type of email, SCAMwatch advises you NOT to 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.

SCAMwatch stresses that the ATO, Centrelink, banks and financial institutions will never send emails requesting verification of personal details for any reason, including tax returns.

SOURCE: www.scanwatch.gov.au, June 2015

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