The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a public warning about a new SMS scam which promises an eight per cent bonus on 2020 tax returns to victims of recent natural disasters.
Assistant Taxation Commissioner, Karen Foat said the scam was a classic case of fraudsters impersonating the ATO in an effort to collect personal information from people.
“This particular scam includes a link to a fake myGov website which looks genuine,” Ms Foat said.
“Your personal and financial information is like the keys to your identity and your money,” she said.
“Armed with your details, scammers can do things like get a loan or commit fraud in your name, access your bank account and shop using your credit card, lodge tax returns, or steal your superannuation.”
Ms Foat said that last year more than 15,000 people reported to the ATO that they had provided scammers with personal identification information.
“Over the past few years the ATO has seen an increasing number of reports of scammers contacting members of the public pretending to be from the ATO by SMS, email, and phone, and the scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated,” she said.
“If you receive an SMS, call, or email and aren’t sure if it’s genuine, it’s OK to not respond.”
She said anyone who received a suspected scam call or message could call the ATO’s dedicated scam line on 1800 008 540 to check if it was legitimate.
The ATO also has an online scam reporting service which can be accessed at this PS News link.