A new text message scam is currently circulating around Australia. The perpetrators are impersonating the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to phish for personal information.
The texts in question claim that the recipient has a positive tax return balance and encourages them to click on a link to claim the missing funds.
The link will reportedly take you to a fake myGov website that will ask for bank details and other personal information for ‘verification purposes’.
The ATO has provided the above image as an example of what the messages can look like.
The ATO had confirmed that no legitimate communication from the organisation will ever ask people to access online services via a hyperlink. All of your tax business occurs via the ATO’s online services, which can be access directly through your my.gov.au account.
It also encourages users to enable two-factor authentication for added security. This means that you will be sent a security code via SMS when you try and log into your myGov account.
“We’ve initiated disruption activity to protect the community from this scam, but it’s a good idea to encourage your friends and family to keep an eye out. This is particularly important in the current environment, as scams often spike when people are most vulnerable,” said the ATO in a statement.
This is the second tax-related ATO scam to occur in the past six months. A similar SMS scam was also circulating in October 2019.
If you have been the victim of a scam, head over to Scamwatch for advice and resources.