Tax time is here, and we see a surge in scammers impersonating trusted brands like myGov or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to trick you into giving them money or personal details. These scams can come through as emails, text messages and fake myGov login pages.
Usually these scams will say you’re entitled to a tax refund or that you need to pay a debt. They are also made to look very real through the sophisticated use of myGov and ATO logos, information and even email addresses which makes it easy for anyone to fall victim.
In June 2019, the ATO received 6,444 reports of tax-time scams that impersonated the ATO. Emails with links to fake myGov login pages were the biggest email scam in that month.
The trend in scammers demanding ‘debt’ payments via gift cards is also on the rise, with Australians aged 18-44 years making the majority of iTunes payments to scammers ($94,420 in June alone), closely followed by Google Play cards ($27,993).
These scam messages often include links that direct you to fake websites or login pages – where you enter your login details and fill out your personal details to claim a ‘refund.’ Scammers can then use this information to commit credit card or tax fraud and identity theft. By clicking on these links you also run the risk of downloading malware onto your computer.
How do I stay safe?