Scam Alert -ATO Tax Declaration Scam Emails
Home Malware Fake ATO “Tax Declaration” Emails Want You to Download a File

Fake ATO “Tax Declaration” Emails Want You to Download a File

by Brett M. Christensen

Australian residents are currently receiving emails that claim to be from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The emails warn that a review of your 2016 tax return has revealed “several inconsistencies”.  They advise you to click a link to download your screening outcome and then visit the nearest ATO bureau to clarify the supposed discrepancies.


The emails have a subject with the words “Tax Declaration” followed by a string of numbers and finish with the signature line “ATO Australia”.

However, the emails are not from the ATO as claimed. The fraudulent messages are designed to trick you into infecting your computer with malware.

If you click the link,  you will be taken to a file sharing website and instructed to download a file.  However, the file will not be a tax declaration document as claimed.  Instead, the file you download will contain a malware payload.

Similar tactics are often used to trick taxpayers into supplying their personal and financial information via fake account update or tax refund forms.

THE ATO will not send you emails or text messages that demand that you download a file or supply personal information via a web form.

If you receive one of these messages, do not follow any instructions that it contains. Just delete it. The ATO website includes information about reporting such scam attempts.


Example:
From: AU TAX
Subject: Tax Declaration 829910938-532-169

Dear Resident ,

This is to let you know that your tax application for the year 2016 has been reviewed by our officers and several inconsistencies have been revealed.We advise you to visit our nearest bureau to clarify the discrepancies in question.Download now.Kindly bring with you a printed copy(download)of the screening outcome, which you will find in attached file, a copy of your revenue statement 2016 and your ID card/passport.

Best regards,

ATO AUSTRALIA




Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer