Technology

Thu, 31 Jan, 2019Shannen Findlay

This worrying text message scam you need to know about

This worrying text message scam you need to know about

Experts are urging mobile phone users to be aware of a new text messaging scam going around – warning others to not let it happen to them.

Aussies are being warned to steer clear of dangerous motives online, through email or text message, by knowing the signs of what a fraudulent scam looks like.

A woman who received a real text message from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) in November of 2018, reminding her to pay her income tax bill by the end of the month with details on how to pay, recently received a text message from the exact same number, news.com.au reports.

This text message was a deceitful scam.

“You are due to receive an ATO refund of $2675.51,” it reads.

“Visit www.atorefund.com and logon with your phone number and ATO pin to claim.”

However, this text message the woman received was a crafty scammer using a calling line identification (CLI) to make themselves seem legitimate.

A spokesperson for the ATO confirms that despite both the real and fake text coming from the same number, the department has not been hacked.

“We’ve seen instances where scammers maliciously manipulate the CLI so the phone number that appears is different to the number from which the call originated,” the spokespersons said.

“Malicious CLI overstamping allows a scammer to disguise their identity and location from the person being called or to make the number seem more familiar to the called party.”

However, this is not the first time a hacker has attempted to use the ATO to steal money or the identity of an unaware Aussie.

In July of last year, a phishing scam was alerted to Australians by the official Australian Taxation Office Facebook page, urging people to keep their “eyes peeled for [a] new ATO-themed scam email that requests… credit/debit card details.”

The ATO advises if you believe you have been hit with a scam text message, phone call or email to not click any links sent to you, open attachments or respond to the fraudulence.

If you receive an email you believe to be fake, the ATO advises you forward the entire email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au and to delete the email from your account.

How to spot a scam

When spotting a deceitful ploy, you are urged to look out for these following signs

  • Abusive language or threatening words
  • Immediate payment
  • Contact by email, text message or social media

Remember, if it seems too good to be true then it most probably is.

To learn more, please visit the ATO’s helpful website for more information.

Has this ever happened to you? Let us know in the comments below.