22 May 2024

Tax season could mean scam season, how prepared are you?

HSBC is warning Australians to be on guard this tax season with scammers becoming more sophisticated and finding new ways to steal money from consumers including posing as the Australian Tax Office (ATO) or MyGov.

Scammers will often call, email or send you an SMS pretending to be from the ATO or MyGov requesting urgent payment or asking for financial information to receive a refund.

The ATO has advised that scammers have been known to use fake myGov websites to steal your sign in credentials and gain access to your myGov account. They can make fraudulent lodgements in your name and change bank details so that any payments are redirected to a scammer’s account.

Commenting on this, Jessica Power, Head of Wealth and Personal Banking HSBC Australia, said that scammers know this time of year is busy for people and that scammers will try to exploit it.

“As you’re pulling together your information for tax time, or while you’re waiting on your return, it can be easy to mistake a scam communication for an authentic one. Around this time of year, it is important to be extra vigilant and to double check that you’re being contacted by a legitimate government agency,” she said.

Reduce the risk of becoming a scam victim by:

  • Being on the lookout for scam emails and texts from fraudsters posing as ATO towards the end of the tax year – hover your cursor over the sender field in any email, which should show you the actual email address it was sent from, helping you identify bogus emails.
  • Refusing to hand over bank account or card details for a suggested a tax rebate. Scammers may also send fake bank details to fool people into sending tax payments to the scammers instead of to the ATO.
  • Don’t let your guard down. If you get an email or message from the ATO, stop and think. Could it be a scam? The ATO will never ask you to hand over confidential information like passwords, one-time passcodes (OTPs) or your PIN. You should also never share your myGov login details.
  • The ATO has advised they won’t send you an SMS or email with a link to access online services. These should be accessed directly by typing ato.gov.au or my.gov.au into your browser.
  • If you’re contacted and think it might be a tax scam - don’t reply, don’t click on any links and don’t open any attachments.
  • Do not click on any email or SMS links or share your financial information including your tax file number.
  • If you need to contact the ATO, only use phone numbers, links or web addresses from official websites or letters.

HSBC Australia
In Australia, the HSBC Group offers an extensive range of financial services through a network of 34 branches and offices. These services include retail and commercial banking, trade finance, treasury and financial markets, payments and cash management and securities custody. Principal HSBC Group members operating in Australia include HSBC Bank Australia Limited (ABN 48 006 434 162 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 232595) and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (ABN 65 117 925 970 and AFSL 301737).

HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories. With assets of US$3,039bn as at 31 December 2023, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

Media enquiries:

Jacqui Coleman
E-mail: jacqui.coleman@hsbc.com.au

Lillian Birchall
E-mail: lillian.birchall@hsbc.com.au