Antivirus and internet security group AVG has chimed in this week with an alert to Australians on just how many email ATO scams will be going around.
“In upcoming months, when the prospect of tax refunds is on everyone’s mind, be alert to emails and phone calls about money owed to you by the ATO or the need to recalculate your tax,” said Lloyd Borrett, AVG’s security evangelist. “Today, electronic communication is the norm, but it’s important not to let your guard down.”
“Think about all the information included in your return – your tax file number, details of investments, retirement accounts, employment, property you own, even your children’s childcare. In the hands of cyber criminals, your identity and more could be at risk.”
More and more people are doing their taxes online, thanks to the government’s e-Tax software, but it’s important to be aware that the government will never, ever ask you to update or disclose personal details over email.
You should also never click on a supposed link to the ATO through an email. Chances are if there’s a link to the tax department in an email, it’s linking you to a site that wants to steal your personal details and financial information.