According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre, the number of scams targeting Australians skyrockets at tax time.
Follow the tips below to stay safe at tax time:
- Keep your devices up to date. Updates include new features, as well as fixes for weaknesses that cyber criminals can use to gain access to your device.
- Run regular anti-virus scans. This will help you detect and remove malware (viruses) from your device.
- THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK. The Australian Taxation Office will never send an email or text.
- Avoid clicking links from text messages or emails. It’s best to check any tax-related messages you receive through your myGov account instead.
- Keep your personal information private. Don’t share your TFN or birth date. Get into the habit of removing apps you don’t use so companies you no longer deal with can’t access your info.
Concerned that a phone call, SMS, voicemail or email claiming to be from the ATO is not genuine? Don’t respond to it, instead, phone the ATO on 1800 008 540 or go to the ATO website to verify or report a scam.
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The small, small print: Please note this information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. You should consider this before acting on any of the information contained.
PHONE SCAM EXAMPLE - SUSPENDED TAX FILE NUMBER
Scammers pretending to be from the ATO tell people their tax file number (TFN) has either been suspended due to illegal activity or compromised by a scammer.
They ask the call recipient to either pay a fine to release their TFN or transfer all bank funds into a holding account to protect it from future misuse.
If you receive a phone call like this, hang up and do not provide the information requested.