16 March 2015

Australians are reminded to be wary of scam emails that use the Australian Government and Australian Taxation Office logos to mislead the email recipient into thinking they are receiving a tax refund.

The latest scam email in circulation has the subject ‘Refund’ and a number that gives the impression that it is related to a transaction or file. The body of the email includes the words ‘Progress of return’, ‘Tax Refund amount (followed by a figure, for example $395.70)’, ‘choose your bank to submit the Tax Refund’ and ‘Get now your Tax Refund’. This last sentence incorporates a link to a website.

The words ‘End of get it done’ follows below the ‘Get now your Tax Refund’ link.

The body of the email also features an image of a large blue and white tick.

A screenshot of the email is available here:

The email sender purports to be the ‘Taxation Office’, but may also display a completely unrelated email address.

Links in emails like this may direct the recipient to webpages designed to fool users into entering bank details or other financial or personal information, or which could host malicious software, or both.

Clues that identify emails as scams include an incorrect sender address, poor grammar, inappropriate requests, a failure to address the recipient by name and the promise of money.

The ATO states that any message requesting more information before a refund can be released, is a hoax. If you receive a tax related scam message forward it to reportemailfraud [at] ato.gov.au and then delete it immediately from your system.

More information

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This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Communications ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

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Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.


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