ATO Scam advice – tax time SMS and email scams

Be wary of emails, phone calls and text messages claiming to be from the ATO.

If you think a phone call, SMS, voicemail, email or interaction on social media claiming to be from the ATO is not genuine, do not engage with it. You should either:

Stay up to date on the latest scam alerts by subscribing to our general email updates. You will also receive updates on all new general content on our website.

Latest scam alert

July 2023 – tax time SMS and email scams

This tax time, we’re receiving an increased number of reports about several ATO impersonation SMS and email scams.

These scams encourage people to click on a link that directs them to fake myGov sign in pages designed to steal their username and password.

Scammers use many different phrases to try and trick recipients into opening these links. These include (but are not limited to):

  • ‘You are due to receive an ATO Direct refund’
  • ‘You have an ATO notification’
  • ‘You need to update your details to allow your Tax return to be processed’
  • ‘We need to verify your incoming tax deposit’
  • ‘ATO Refund failed due to incorrect BSB/Account number’
  • ‘Due to receive a refund, click here to receive a rebate’

The images below are examples of the format this scam can take.

A scam SMS asking recipients to open a link to view their processed tax return.
A scam email telling recipients that they have an outstanding refund from myGov. It asks them to open a link to accept their refund.

Do not open any links or provide the information requested.

We won’t send you an SMS or email with a link to log on to online services. They should be accessed directly by typing or into your browser.

While we may use SMS or email to ask you to contact us, we will never ask you to return personal information through these channels.

Report any suspicious contact claiming to be from the ATO to


Last modified: 14 Aug 2023

QC 53447


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