Australian Tax Office Alerts Citizens about New Tax Refund Scam

The ATO (Australian Tax Office) is alerting citizens to watch out for a fake e-mail making the rounds while posing to facilitate a tax reimbursement.

The fake e-mail features a heading that displays the words "Tax refund online." Subsequently, the main message tells the recipient that he is entitled to receive an amount of $452 as tax compensation. It then urges the user to submit the request for the tax compensation and give 2-5 working days for its processing.

The e-mail also asks the recipient to follow the given link to claim the sum. However, the link takes the user to a supposed 'ATO' website that though looks official, actually is a fake that prompts the user to provide his income details. From there, he is led to another page that asks for the user's credit card particulars.

Meanwhile, the ATO cautions that there could be more e-mails of this kind with varied header and text, but even those are false.

Michael D'Ascenzo, Australia's Tax Commissioner, has urged everyone who has received the phony e-mail or any other, similarly posing to be an urgent communication from the ATO, to immediately delete it, as reported by abc.net on June 9, 2009.

The Commissioner added that the ATO doesn't dispatch e-mails directing taxpayers to give their private information such as credit card particulars. According to him, taxpayers should always look out for unsolicited e-mails that claim of representing ATO.

According to the ATO, if anyone has already replied to the electronic mail with his payment card details, then he should straight away contact his credit card company to halt any potential deal.

As a measure of additional precaution, Mr. D'Ascenzo advised that people should always type the URL addresses in their Web browser instead of following links provided in electronic mails.

These kinds of fraudulent e-mails have often been targeting bank customers as well asking for account details, but according to ATO and other authorities, it is extremely hard to abort such phishing scams if their source is a foreign country.

Related article: Australian Blogger Uses Spam To Boost Blog

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