ATO WARNS: SCAMMERS ARE GETTING INCREASINGLY CUNNING

This week’s blog will be focused on providing you tips to improve your financial security. With technologically becoming a part of our everyday life it is imperative that we become aware of the crimes that can be committed while using it.

A range of tricks are used to make scams appear authentic. For example:

  • including a legitimate-sounding message at the start of a call, such as the call is being recorded ‘for training purposes’,
  • sending emails that appear to have come from the ATO, which when opened or downloaded infect your computer with malicious software.

These scams are then investigated by the ATO and other government agencies as appropriate, including the Australian Federal Police.” The ATO states that if you are in doubt about an interaction you have had with someone claiming to be from the ATO, or you think you have fallen victim to an ATO Impersonation scam, then it is imperative that you call the ATO on 1800 008 540 between 8:00am–6:00pm Monday to Friday to verify.

The ATO won’t email, text or ask you the following on social media:

  • update or provide personal information, supply your TFN, credit card or bank details
  • send you downloadable files or tell you to install software.

However, the ATO will email and text you if they need to contact you by asking you to contact them by phone in order to:

  • provide additional information for a BAS or GST enquiry, tax return or an application you have lodged
  • verify changes to an account.

What you need to look out for to avoid being scammed!

  • The ATO states that scammers can use Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone numbers to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world
  • spoofing phone numbers to make phone calls and text messages appear to come from Australia
  • sending pre-recorded voice messages (robocalls) to large numbers of people asking for an immediate call back
  • sending copycat emails with attachments or links that
    • take you to fake login screens or web pages to trick you to downloading malicious software or giving them your personal information
    • contain programs that record your computer key strokes to get your personal information or login credentials
  • sending ransomware (malicious software) that stops your computer working until you pay a fee – often by Bitcoin
  • spoofing websites or login pages to get your personal information
  • accessing your public profile on social media to learn about you so they can meet proof of record ownership or break your passwords.

For more information visit the ATO website.

Thanks for reading!