Phishing scam targets Australian taxpayers

E-mail claims to offer tax rebates

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a warning against a phishing e-mail currently in circulation that claims to be from the tax office.

The e-mail fraudulently uses the ATO logo and comes with the words 'Australian Taxation Office - Please Read' in the subject line.

Claiming to offer a refund from the ATO, the message asks users to click on a link that redirects to a fraudulent Web site. (see screenshot)

According to IT management software vendor CA, the phisher has made no attempt to obfuscate the Web site's true URL. Three variants of the phishing Web site have been reported so far, with one using a URL registered in the Netherlands, and others using a French URL.

The phishing site is not known to contain any malicious software but purports to be from the ATO, and asks users for credit card and personal details. (see screenshot)

"Once a user has clicked on a link inside the spammed email, it might not be immediately obvious to the user that they have landed on a password stealing site," said Chris Thoma, Security Solution Strategist at CA Pacific.

While CA has not yet published any figures to do with the span of the attack, Thomas does not believe that it has occurred on a large scale.

The ATO's Second Commissioner, Greg Farr, said the department has notified relevant authorities who are investigating the matter.

"People should be wary of unsolicited emails claiming to be from the Tax Office," he said.

"The Tax Office will never send out e-mails to taxpayers asking them to provide personal information including credit card details."

CA's Thomas said: "Users should always check where links provided in an email actually lead to. In this case, do not click on any links that are in emails that seem to be sent from the ATO."

Recipients of the phishing e-mail are advised to delete it immediately. People who have entered their credit card information on the website are advised to contact their credit card provider as soon as possible and report a possible compromise.

More information is available from CA's security advisory.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Liz Tay

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?