Australians have been warned to stay alert as a surge of elaborate scams impersonating the tax office emerge.
The influx of scam messages coincided with tax season as people across the country rush to complete their tax returns.
The scam targets people via SMS and email by prompting them to click on a link that takes them to a fake myGov sign in page designed to steal their username and password.
The scammers have used a variety of phrases to trick recipients into opening the links including, “You need to update your details to allow your Tax return to be processed” and “ATO Refund failed due to incorrect BSB/Account number”.
The Australian Taxation Office is warning people not to open any link appearing to be sent from the tax office to them via email or SMS.
“Do not open any links or provide the information requested,” a spokesperson said.
“We won‘t send you an SMS or email with a link to log on to online services.
“While we may use SMS or email to ask you to contact us, we will never ask you to return personal information through these channels.”
Instead, if they receive an email appearing to be from the ATO, the advise people access the service by searching in their browser for the ATO or myGov website.
“They should be accessed directly by typing ato.gov.au or my.gov.au into your browser,” the spokesperson said.
If a person believes they have received a suspicious SMS or email, the ATO is urging them to report it to them by emailing ReportScams@ato.gov.au.