ATO again the target of phishing scam

Unwary citizens directed to bogus Web site that looks similar to the Tax Office Web site.

Just like it did this time last year, the Australian Tax Office is again warning taxpayers of a fraudulent email being circulated that claims to offer citizens a tax refund.

The email uses the Tax Office logo and the words ‘Notification - Please read’ or ‘Australian Taxation Office - Please Read This’ in the subject heading.

It then prompts people to click on a link which directs them to a bogus Tax Office Web site and asks for credit card and personal details.

“People should be wary of unsolicited emails claiming to be from the Tax Office. As an extra precaution we recommend you type Internet addresses directly into your internet browser rather than clicking on links embedded in emails,” said Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo in a statement.

The Tax Office says it will never send emails to people asking them to provide personal information including credit card details.

Because the bogus Web sites are set up in multiple jurisdictions, the ATO says it makes them difficult to trace and to effectively shut them down.

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Howard Dahdah

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