ATO scams do the rounds

It's almost the end of financial year, and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned companies and consumers to beware of phishing emails and telemarketing calls.

One phishing email has a subject line 'Australian Taxation Office and your tax return' and invites people to enter their details online before a refund is issued.

Tax Commissioner, Michael D'Ascenzo, warned that during the busy tax season cammers try to catch people off guard using phone calls, letters, text messages, emails, bogus websites and even false job advertisements in an attempt to trick people into providing personal details or credit card numbers.

"We are aware of a current telephone scam operating where a person claiming to be from the ATO or 'Taxation Department' calls offering you a grant of $7000 if you pay them $200," D'Ascenzo said.

"These scammers try to appear more legitimate by providing you with a case number and a telephone number to call back on. Anyone who receives these types of calls should treat it with caution and not provide any personal details or money."

He added that the ATO would never ask people to pay money to receive a refund.

"If you need to confirm someone is calling from the ATO call 13 28 61," D'Ascenzo said.

"If something seems suspicious, too good to be true, asks you for personal details or cannot be verified by contacting an official source, it is likely to be a scam and you should report it."

The ATO was currently investigating the scams with the help of the Australian Federal Police.

The Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA) has been contacted for comment about the telemarketing scam by Computerworld Australia

Got a security tip-off? Contact Hamish Barwick at hamish_barwick at

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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