Yesterday, 7 February 2017, more than 120 countries worldwide celebrated "Safer Internet Day", a global drive to raise awareness of ways to make the internet safer for all users.
The Goyder office is regularly contacted by constituents worried they have been scammed - and their concerns are real, with current scams including AUSKey fraud, ATO impersonators, unsolicited domain name registration offers, bogus accommodation booking sites, fake parcel delivery services for online shoppers, and Centrelink scams.
If in doubt about any phone calls, emails, SMS or faxes you receive, visit http://www.scamwatch.gov.au and report your concern (or call the Goyder office 88322 455 and we can report it for you)
For those wary of correspondence specifically from the Australian Taxation Office - phone 1800 008 540. The office has received a number of reports of scam emails appearing as though they are from the ATO.
Have you received an email from the ATO asking for your personal details or offering you are refund?
If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from the ATO, do not click on any links, open attachments or respond to the sender. Forward the entire email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au without changing or adding any additional information and delete from your inbox and sent folder.
Please be mindful, the ATO will NEVER:
- threaten you with immediate arrest
- ask you to pay money to receive a refund or payment
- ask you to pay a debt via iTunes vouchers or pre-paid credit card or store gift cards
- ask you to provide personal information such as your tax file number or credit card number via email or SMS
- ask you to pay money into a personal bank account
- direct you to download files from the internet or open attachments in unsolicitied emails
If you get a phone call, ask the caller for:
- their full name and extension number
- their team leader's full name and extension number
Then hang up and call the ATO on 1800 008 540 to verify that the caller is from the ATO.
AUSKey scam alert
The Australian Tax Office also advises it has recently detected cases of identity thieves fraudulently obtaining AUSkeys linked to legitimate businesses. Once an Auskey has been allocated, access is gained to the Business Portal so that fraudulent BAS can be lodged and bank details updated to accounts that are not controlled by the entity.
The ATO advises:
"We were able to detect the activity and take preventative action quickly. These AUSkeys have been cancelled and we are working with the affected businesses to protect their online security and monitor activity on their accounts. Take the following steps to protect your business and to ensure your identity has not been compromised:
- check access manager to understand who in your business has AUSkey access and that their level of access is appropriate to their role
- remove access for employees who no longer work for you
- check the financial institution and contact details you have recorded with us are correct
Report any unknown or suspicious AUSkeys allocated to your organisation by calling 1300 287 539 between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday."