Cybersecurity expert reveals the top tax-time scams in 2022

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on June 13, 2022 Fact Checked
Cybersecurity expert reveals the top tax-time scams in 2022

A cybersecurity expert has delivered his insights into which tax-related scams are doing the rounds in 2022.

Avast cybersecurity expert Stephen Kho identified three prominent scams circulating at the moment:

  1. Fake tax preparers claiming they can do tax returns fast, and for a low price.
  2. ATO phishing scams used to trick taxpayers into giving them their sensitive information.
  3. Emails posing as the CEO, director, or a payroll provider known as 'business email compromise' scams.

"Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to steal your data, personal details or money through increasingly sophisticated scams and online threats - and the timely hook of tax time helps them seem more legitimate," Mr Kho said.

To combat these three key scams, Mr Kho gave the following tips:

1. Fake tax preparers

The scam works by so-called tax preparers accessing your MyGov details. To combat this...

  • Check that the tax preparer is registered on the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) at 
  • Don't share your MyGov password with anyone.
  • Use two-factor authentication on your MyGov login - this consists of MyGov's code generator app or opting to receive a verification code via SMS when logging in.

2. ATO phishing scams

These scammers go 'fishing' by impersonating a trustworthy source such as the Australian Tax Office. 

Keep an eye out for unsolicited emails, calls or SMSs prompting you to input your details or make a payment. To combat this...

  • Don't click on links or follow prompts to login to your account or provide payments. The ATO won't ever threaten immediate arrests or criminal charges, nor will it suspend your tax file number. If you're in doubt, don't respond, hang up immediately and call the ATO directly.
  • Use anti-virus software that protects you from malicious software you might have downloaded.

3. Emails posing as a CEO, director or payroll provider

These emails typically demand copies of payroll details or PAYG payment summaries, which include a lot of personal information. To combat this...

  • Make sure you strictly follow your company's payment authorisation or approval process.
  • Never send tax information electronically without verifying with the sender in person or on the phone. 

"We know these scams have been prevalent in high numbers over the last few years, so it’s important to be on the front foot and know what to look out for when it comes to identifying fraudulent activity online, especially around tax time where we are having conversations around finances with various institutions," Mr Kho said.


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            Harrison is's Assistant Editor. Prior to joining Savings in January 2020, he worked for some of Australia's largest comparison sites and media organisations. With a keen interest in the economy, housing policy, and personal finance, Harrison strives to deliver and edit news and guides that are engaging, thought-provoking, and simple to read.


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