Beware ATO email scam

AN OFFER of extra money in the pocket is tempting to anyone but Hervey Bay accountant Andrew Hoey is warning property owners not to be fooled by a scam email claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office.

A Maryborough resident received the email last week and immediately called his financial adviser who told him it was a fake.

The email was sent from the address: ato@ato.gov.au and offers property owners a chance to claim a property tax refund.

It prompts recipients to click on a link to provide more personal details.

Mr Hoey said the email was a scam and people should not respond to it.

“There is a scam email going around. It uses the ATO logo and it looks legitimate but it’s not,” he said.

“In Australia there is land tax and there is capital gains tax but there’s no such a thing as property tax.”

Mr Hoey advised anyone who received a suspicious email to call the Australian Taxation Office or get advice from a tax agent or accountant.

A copy of the scam email can be seen on the Australian Taxation Office website’s scam section.

Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo said anyone who received such an email should delete it immediately.

“The tax office never sends emails asking people to provide personal information,” he said.

“People should always be wary of unsolicited emails claiming to be from the tax office.”

Scam emails often contain poor spelling and grammar and hoax email addresses that appear genuine.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website claims scammers use personal information such as names, dates of birth, bank details and tax file numbers to steal a victim’s money and identity.

“Scamwatch stresses that the ATO, Centrelink, banks and financial institutions will never send emails requesting verification of personal details for any reason, including tax returns,” the website states.

For more information on current ATO-related scams visit www.ato.gov.au. For general advice on scams go to www.scamwatch.gov.au.



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