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This scam website bears a striking similarity to that of the ATO.
This scam website bears a striking similarity to that of the ATO.

As emails go, it was a cracker. And with thousands of tax refunds still being processed, surely it was true?

“After calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund. See your refund status by downloading attachment.”

Clicking on the attachment, the reader was taken to a website closely resembling that of the Australian Taxation Office.

They just had to fill in a few personal details, and all would be fine.

But a Perth real estate agent found out recently, almost to her cost, that some things are too good to be true.

“I thought it was strange, we’ve got an accountant and never had anything like that before,” she said.

“I was thinking in the back of my mind, it’s a bit different from normal. But it was very realistic and another of the girls in the office also got the same email.”

Right she was. Thankfully the fraud section of her bank was on the alert and called to tell her there had been suspicious activity on her account.

“Someone was using it to try and do some gambling on a UK website,” the victim said.

The transaction – for “not a huge amount” – was cancelled.

The victim was mystified as to how the scammers got her credit card details – they were caught when asked to enter the three-digit security code on the back of the card – given that she had “only” given them her bank details.

The link she was sent actually redirects the user to a Spanish website with an extremely strong likeness to the official ATO site.

It is the latest in a string of hoax emails claiming to be from the ATO.

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A Tax Office spokesman said refunds were unable to be processed online and the ATO would never ask for details such as a Tax File Number, date of birth, passwords, or credit card details.

Anyone who has given out their TFN to a scam site should contact the ATO, as the information could lead to a wide variety of identity thefts, the spokesman said.

But Canberra man Will Beaumont, who received the same email, said he had informed the ATO to no avail.

He sent the ATO an email asking them to take action, outlining concerns about the level of details asked for. However, Mr Beaumont has yet to receive a reply.

“This has been happening for months and the ATO has done nothing to assist in managing those who have contacted them,” Mr Beaumont said.

If you are unsure whether an email is legitimate, you can check the ATO website www.ato.gov.au/onlinesecurity for examples of SMS and email activities,

or call on 13 28 61.

You can also report unsolicited emails claiming to be from the ATO by forwarding the entire email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

rent.com.au - Australia's #1 Rental Property Website

March 5th, 2012
Topic: SCAMS, TAXES Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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