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ATO Advice – Cyber Scams

Online scams are an ongoing problem. A problem that is only getting worse as the scams become more sophisticated and believable.

In 2021, Australians lost a record amount of over $2 billion in scams according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. This was despite the Australian government, law enforcement and the private sector disrupting scam activity. It has been estimated that 2022 figures will be almost double those of 2021.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is a popular choice for cybercriminals to impersonate and base scams around, together with a growing number of scams targeting businesses. The ATO has provided the following:

“The ATO has advised that cybercriminals are targeting small businesses with business email compromise scams under which fraudulent emails are sent posing as a legitimate business contact or staff member. Further, they typically request a change in bank account details for a deposit, wages or an invoice payment. Victims then unknowingly send money to the cybercriminal. The ATO says that small businesses can protect themselves by taking a few simple steps:

a) Verifying payment details by confirming the identity of anyone who requests changes to their information;

b) Alerting staff and training employees to identify suspicious requests or emails that may link to fake websites built to capture passwords; and

c) securing account by using multi-factor authentication or, if this is not possible, a strong unique passphrase that would be difficult to hack.”

If you are concerned about an email you have received, please contact the company via your records and not the contact details in the email or attachment; or contact our office and our Techs would be happy to review the email to help you determine if it is legitimate or not.