The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Stay Smart Online site has issued a warning that it is seeing a surge in scammers impersonating myGov and the Australian Taxation Office and asking for money or personal details.
The ACSC says scams can take the form of emails, text messages and fake myGov login pages. Usually these scam messages say recipients are entitled to a tax refund or that they need to pay a debt.
In June, the ATO received 6444 reports of tax time scams impersonating the ATO.
The trend for scammers to demand payment in the form of gift cards is also on the rise, with more than $94,000 of iTunes card payments to scammers in June alone. Google Play cards are also popular.
The scam messages often include links that direct recipients to fake websites or login pages, where they are asked to enter personal details to claim ‘refunds’.
Scammers can use this information to commit credit card fraud, tax fraud and identity theft.
By clicking on the links, there is also the risk of downloading malware into a computer.
State Smart Online advises that myGov will never send a text, email or attachment with links or web addresses that ask for a login or personal details. It says do not click on links in emails or text messages claiming to be from myGov.
It recommends that people have a strong password for their myGov account and add a security code to the login process for an extra layer of protection.