ATO impersonation text message scams targeting Australians during tax return time

Opportunistic scammers are using tax time to target unsuspecting Australians trying to lodge their return.

As of July 1, taxpayers can file their tax returns with the Australian Taxation Office.

The easiest way to do this is by visiting the ATO’s website through myGov or using a registered tax agent.

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Taxpayers have been warned to be aware of scammers using fake myGov messages to trick them into handing over their personal information.

The messages, which appear to be from the ATO, encourage the recipient to click on a link to enter their personal details.

“myGov: You have a new notification from ATO regarding your 2024 lodgement, vist (fake website),” one stated.

“myGov message: your income return of $1980.59 could not be processed due to insufficient information supplied please update immediately at (fake website),” another read.

The ATO is aware of impersonation scams and warns it will never send an email or SMS with a link to sign in to its 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,” the ATO said.

Australians are being targeted by opportunistic scammers hoping they can use tax time to win big.Australians are being targeted by opportunistic scammers hoping they can use tax time to win big.
Australians are being targeted by opportunistic scammers hoping they can use tax time to win big. Credit: 7NEWS

In the lead-up to tax time, the Australian Communications and Media Authority warned people to be aware of tax-themed scam emails, calls and texts over the coming weeks.

“Common tax scams include robo-calls or calls from people pretending to be from the Australian Taxation Office or another government department,” it said.

“These callers ask for urgent payment of a tax debt or say they need to fix personal information to process your tax refund.

“People may also be targeted by email or texts claiming to be from the ATO and MyGov, including links to update or fix your personal information to receive a fake refund.”

If you are unsure about a message’s authenticity, do not reply or click any links.

Instead, contact the tax office through the myGov app or the number found on its official website.


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