The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has advised that there is currently a JobKeeper Payment phone scam. These scammers will pretend to be from the ATO and will ask you to input your bank details. Whilst the ATO does communicate via email and SMS they will never ask for a reply, especially not to ask for bank account details or tax file numbers. They have also advised they will never use hyperlinks in its messages.
The ATO DOES NOT need bank details for employees as they will pay the funds directly to employers to be processed as wages. Unfortunately due to the confusing and stressful nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals have taken the opportunity to scam individuals and the rates of hacking and fraud have increased over the last few weeks.
The ATO have said that their emails and SMS include messages such as:
- inviting you to enrol in JobKeeper (no hyperlinks)
- updates on the status of the JobKeeper enrolment
- messages to help eligible businesses to apply for JobKeeper Payments via the Business Portal
- messages advising that applications are open for early release of superannuation
- notifications regarding the outcome of the early release of super
If you see anything where the ATO is asking you to reply by SMS or email or asking you to open a hyperlink and input your tax file number or bank details, DO NOT RESPOND and alert the ATO to the new scam.