The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has issued a major warning about a scam targeting vulnerable Australian businesses, urging Australians to delete the suspicious email.
The email asks businesses to provide high resolution photos of the front and back of their Medicare card and driver’s licence, in order for the ATO to “check” JobKeeper and Backing Business Incentive Scheme.
“We’re receiving reports of email scams about JobKeeper and backing business investment claims,” the ATO said on its website.
“The fake emails say we're investigating your claims. They ask you to provide valuable personal information, including copies of your driver’s licence and Medicare card.”
However, the email is a scam and those who receive it should “delete the email straight away”, and not provide the requested information.
ATO scams on the rise
The tax office said those who believe they’ve been targeted by a scam should call the ATO on 1800 008 540 to check its legitimacy, or report it to email@example.com.
“You should never give out your personal information unless you're sure of who you are dealing with.”
The ATO has been a popular disguise for scammers, with the tax office warning of an increase in the number of fake tax debt scammers in September. The tax office said it was concerned by the number of Australians falling for the scam and losing money.
Under this scam, scammers pose as the ATO and tell victims they have a tax debt and will be arrested if they don’t pay it.
“These scammers will often request payment through unusual methods, such as cryptocurrency, prepaid credit cards or gift cards, and will try to keep people on the line until they have paid,” the ATO said.
“If you receive a phone call, text message or voicemail like this, don't send payment or provide any personal information. Hang up and delete the message.”
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