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ATO: Tax Payers Careful against Phishing E-mail Scam

A new phishing e-mail scam is making rounds over the Internet. Computer users are required to exercise caution as the e-mail claims to have come from the Australian Taxation Office.

Nick Sherry, Federal Assistant Treasurer, said that the ATO logo and web links were used in this "sophisticated" e-mail to entice users, according to the statement published by typeboard on February 9, 2010.

As per the details, this latest scam email contains a spurious Tax Office form as an attachment which asks victims about their confidential information like the PIN numbers of ATM card and credit card details.

The email tells that the Tax Office has determined that the recipient should receive a tax refund worth AU$ XXX' after recalculating and evaluating his/her fiscal activity.

As soon as the victim fills in the form and clicks the print button, his/her confidential information is instantly forwarded to a third party abroad. The gullible user is redirected to the legitimate website of Tax Office after he/she has submitted his/her personal information.

Nick Sherry has clarified to the tax payers that the Tax Office never asks for their credit card details or other personal information through e-mails, as reported by Moonee valley Leader on February 8, 2010. It is recommended to the users to immediately inform their credit card providers in case they have already submitted their personal details to the fake site.

According to Marguerite Bourke, Principal Lawyer at Moonee Valley Legal Service, this scam should be an alarm bell for taxpayers to be more careful while providing banking and personal details, as reported by Moonee valley Leader on February 8, 2010.

The lawyer has added that it is important for people to be alert as the risks are quite high. If money goes in the hands of scammers, no government fund can compensate the loss. She said that it was a tough task to track the culprits.

The ATO has provided some red flags to identify spoofed e-mails - such e-mails often have hoax e-mail addresses that seem to be genuine; spelling and grammatical errors.

Besides the ATO, cyber criminals have repeatedly targeted taxpayers of Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue (HMRC) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS, United States); thereby making such acts a global scam.

Related article: AT&T Website Faces Hackers’ Axe

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