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Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Phony E-mail Scam

Posted by Tax Advisor on 15 September, 2010

The Australian Taxation Office has released a warning to the Australian public concerning a fraudulant e-mail scam that is being circulated. This e-mail is designed to offer a phony 30% discount on their taxes in order to obtain taxpayers’ personal information. The e-mail uses the official logo of The Australian Taxation Office, and contains ‘Cut Off Taxes Program (COTP) has been released – Join Now’ in the subject of the message.

Be aware, this may be only one variation of the fraudulant e-mail. “These websites are often set up in multiple jurisdictions making them difficult to trace and to effectively shut them down.” said Australian Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo.

How can YOU protect yourself?

This particular e-mail contains a link that will direct you to a fraudulent Tax Office website. One of the key identifiers of these scam sites is the instructions asking for personal information such as your tax file number. Be careful with any e-mail claiming to be from ATO that asks for any sensitive information. “The Tax Office never sends e-mails asking people to provide personal information including tax file numbers,” Mr D’Ascenzo said. The ATO advises that if anyone receives one of these messages that they should delete it immediately.

Mr D’Ascenzo went on to advise, “As an extra precaution we recommend you type internet addresses directly into your internet browser rather than clicking on links embedded in emails.”

In this specific instance, it will be much easier to not be cozen by links that appear to lead you to one address, but they actually direct you to another.

D’Ascenzo stated “If people have entered their tax file number or personal information on the website they should contact us immediately on 13 28 61.”

– Article by Tax Professionals at ELodge.com.au

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