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Phishing Scam Attacks Tax Office of Australia

A fraudulent mail is circulating in Australia spoofing the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and offering tax refunds.

The e-mail has ATO's logo with subject line "Australian Taxation Office - Please Read This" or "Notification-Please read". Scam mails with other subject lines can also be making rounds in the country.

The reports also revealed that the e-mail comes with an attached link that directs users to an inauthentic site appearing same as the ATO's website. This fake site gathers credit card and user's private details.

Security experts said that the practice of deceiving users into revealing their private information is called phishing.

On the other side, ATO said that it does not send mails to anyone demanding private details. Therefore, Australians have been asked to avoid the scam e-mail.

Tax Commissioner, Michael D'Ascenzo, said that users should be careful of mails which claim to have come from the Tax Office. He also advised that users should type the web address in the browser instead of clicking on the attached links, as reported by AustralianIT on January 7, 2009.

Mr. Michael also added that computer users should delete the e-mail immediately. If, by chance, any user has revealed his credit card details on the fake website, he should immediately inform the credit card company, as reported by Northside Chronicle on January 7, 2009.

Further, ATO says that as the fake sites are established in several jurisdictions, it is hard to trace and properly close them down.

Security experts further said that this is not the first time when hackers attacked ATO. During April 2007, a same kind of mail scam was circulating in Australia, directing users to click on a link that takes users to another harmful site.

In Australia, phishing scam is not new. In December 2006, a phishing scam was circulating and claiming to be come from the Reserve Bank of Australia. The mail asked users to click on a link to check details of debit card account, but directing them to an illegal site.

Related article: Phishing With A Redirector Code

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