WA ScamNet regularly receives reports about scam emails that claim to be from the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
Sometimes you can tell it’s not really from the ATO by checking the sender’s address. Although it might say ATO or something similar in the sender box, the return email address next to those words might be a non-Government email address and usually if that’s the case it will be from a free email account provider.
However a technique called email spoofing means that sometimes scam emails will say dot gov dot au as though it’s from a genuine Australian Government email account even though it isn’t.
Usually the email’s offering a tax refund or it might be asking you to update your details.
The body of the email will ask you to click a link – never do this as this is how the scammers will get your details.
You can be sure the ATO won’t ever contact you out of the blue to offer you a refund or to update your details in this way.
The ATO has a great online security page where you can see scanned examples of bogus ATO emails sent by scammers.