Scam Alert

How to verify or report a tax related scam

A warning for consumers to be aware of contact from scammers falsely claiming to be from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). 

Scam emails, faxes, SMS and phone calls can look or sound very convincing. You can generally tell they're not genuine because they offer you an unexpected refund or grant and ask you to provide personal information, credit card information or money.

The ATO will never email you asking for personal, banking or credit card details, and you should never provide this information.

Email scams

These emails claim to come from the ATO and usually offer a tax refund. Generally, they link to a bogus ATO website asking for personal and credit card details. These emails can differ in their appearance and level of sophistication, but will generally state that you are eligible for a refund and instruct you to click on a link to submit a form to receive it. One version of this scam contains an attachment infected with a virus. If you receive an email like this, do not open the attachment.

Mobile phone scams

Mobile phone scams differ in appearance and level of sophistication but will generally claim that you are eligible for a refund and instruct you to click on a link to submit a form to receive it. By clicking the link or filling in the details you will potentially expose yourself to identity theft. Occasionally the ATO may send you an SMS – however, they will never message you asking for personal or credit card details.

Phone scams

From time to time the ATO may contact you by phone, but you should be wary of unsolicited phone calls claiming to be from the ATO and offering you a tax refund. Increasingly, we are seeing these scams using names and addresses that have some correlation to actual ATO officers and buildings. We advise taxpayers to be vigilant when receiving phone calls of this nature.

How to verify or report a tax related scam

Verify the legitimacy of a communication

You can check on communication that you aren’t sure about, or report a phone scam by phoning the ATO on 1800 008 540.

Report an unsolicited email

You can report unsolicited emails claiming to be from the ATO by forwarding the entire email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you've been a victim of a tax-related scam

If you think you have been a victim of a tax-related scam, phone the ATO on 1800 008 540 – do so immediately, because your personal details, including your TFN, may be compromised. You should also contact your bank/financial institution as soon as possible if you provided your credit card details as part of the suspected scam.

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