Taxpayers receive hoax emails purporting to be from the ATO

Taxpayers receive hoax emails purporting to be from the ATO

• The email may appear to be an official ATO email, but will have been sent from an invalid or fraudulent email address rather than “ato.gov.au”, such as:

  • ato.com.au;
  • ato.net.au;
  • atogov.com.au; or
  • atoguv.com.au

• The email may direct the taxpayer to an alternative website;
• The email may not address the taxpayer by name;
• There is often the promise of a large unexpected tax refund but that it is to be paid into a credit card account – which is not usual practice.

The ATO has officially released a warning about these emails which can be accessed here:

https://www.ato.gov.au/general/online-services/online-security/recognising-and-avoiding-tax-scams-and-fraud/examples-of-tax-related-scams/refund/phishing-scams/

Signs that the email may be fraudulent include, but are not limited to;
• poor grammar;
• unusual language, such as; “after the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity…’; or
• the email address is similar to “ato.gov.au” but slightly difference.

If you receive such an email and you click on the link in order to update your details, your anti-virus program should alert you to the fact that the link is to a phishing site. However, if your internet security and protection is not up to date, or you reply directly to the email, there is a real risk of monetary loss, in addition to identity theft.

If you are sent a suspicious email, please forward it directly to your Walker Wayland NSW advisor, who will be able to confirm whether the email is legitimate or fraudulent.