We have recently received a call from a client who was suspicious of an email they received from someone purporting to the ATO. It was a good thing they called, because this email is in fact a scam and should be ignored.
The ATO rarely contact you via email, especially for things like this, and I have never seen the ATO use the word “Fiscal” in my time as an accountant. If you are at all suspicious of any correspondence you receive from the ATO (including some phone calls), please give us a call before you give out any information. Below are the details of the email our client received:
Subject: Confirmation of ATO Refund (ATO-2WHX95295)
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
After the last calculation of your fiscal activity, you are eligible to receive a tax refund. We have tried to complete your tax refund today (1/06/2016) but the transaction has not been accepted. The possible reasons are:
1) You have not received your first tax refund email and you didn’t confirmed your financial information;
2) You have received our first tax refund email but your credit / debit card has been cancelled or replaced;
3) You have received our first email but your bank financial information has been updated / changed.
To receive your tax refund without delay, please follow next steps:
– Download the attached form on your PC / Desktop and open it in a web browser (e.g. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox);
– Once opened, please follow all steps to complete your tax refund application.
Please allow up to 28 days for processing.
Australian Taxation Office,
Tax Refund Department
Message ID: ATO349739
If you are suspicious of correspondence please give us a call before giving out any information such as Tax File Number or Bank Details to the ATO.
Article Written by Paul Wineberg
Paul is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants
and a Director of South East Accounting.