The subject line reads “Notification-Please Read This!” and the email is headed with what appears to be the official ATO logo.
It goes on to inform the reader they have received a delayed tax refund and asks them claim their money by filling out a tax form from a link in the email.
Once clicking on the link, users go to what looks to be the legitimate ATO website and are asked to provide personal information, including their address and credit card details.
The ATO reported similar scams several times last year, and stresses that people should be very suspicious of any bank or government department email asking for private details.
“The Tax Office will never send emails to people asking them to provide personal information including credit card details," said Acting Second Commissioner Bill Gibson.
ScamWatch, the government’s anti-scam site, says other telltale signs of a fraudulent email include the recipient not being addressed by his or her proper name and spelling or grammar mistakes.
They also say the best way to avoid becoming a victim of online fraud is to stay cautious and never give important information to anything that seems suspicious.
“The basic thing with phishing emails is never give your details out to anyone,” said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission spokeswoman Lin Enwright.
“If anything about an email seems suspicious, you should report it to the agency involved or to the ACCC.”
As another security precaution, the Tax Office also advises typing web addresses directly into the browser rather than following embedded links in emails.
People who have entered credit card details into something they believe may be a scam are advised to contact their credit card provider immediately.
New ATO scam hits the web
By Ashley Clark on May 7, 2008 12:02PM