ACCC warns of stimulus package payout scams

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The ACCC's SCAMwatch service is warning Australians about bogus emails purporting to be related to the Federal government's recently-approved economic stimulus package.

The ACCC's SCAMwatch service is warning Australians about bogus emails purporting to be related to the Federal government's recently-approved economic stimulus package.

SCAMwatch says it has received reports of scammers sending emails disguised as official communication from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Centrelink seeking personal information such as the recipient's name, date of birth, address and banking details.

"The emails suggest that people need to complete and submit an application to receive the bonus payments when this is not the case," the SCAMwatch alert said.

The ATO and Centrelink are preparing to make one-off bonus payments to Australian taxpayers, families, students and farmers over the coming months as part of the $42 billion dollar package announced on 3 February 2009.

The ATO is administering the Australian Government's tax bonus and advises that it will automatically make payments into accounts nominated by taxpayers in their 2007-08 tax returns.

The scams have prompted SCAMwatch to emphasise that the ATO, Centrelink or their bank will never send emails requesting verification of personal details".

People who have received hoax emails and provided details are advised to contact Centrelink on 1800 050 004. 

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