Tax scam targeting flood victims

SCAMMERS have struck again with police reporting complaints today from flood-affected residents about a fake SMS allegedly from the Australian Tax Office.

The scam is reportedly sent to vitcims via text claiming they are entitled to a cash refund by the ATO.

By clicking on the link enclosed in the text, residents risk providing your personal details or allow software to be installed on your phone that gives access to your bank accounts and photos.

One of the three residents who reported the scam to police said he suspected it was a scam due to its content not marrying up with his financial circumstances.

Senior Constable David Henderson said it is thought the scammers are targeting the Northern Rivers people who are vulnerable due to the recent flooding.

" If you do have a ATO debt they will contact you by mail or email - they will only SMS you as a last resort in order to ask you to read an email from them," Snr Const Henderson said.

"The ATO will never say you are going to be arrested if you don't pay them a debt and (obviously) they won't ask you to pay them with itunes cards.

"If you receive a similar SMS delete it straight away. If you have clicked on the link you may want to contact your financial institutions and change your passwords."

If you are still in doubt call the ATO fraud line on 1800 008 540 or visit https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/news/steer-clear-of-tax-scams



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