Tax scams and identity theft

Content Summary

There has been a significant increase in tax-related scams, fraud attempts, deceptive emails and SMS schemes targeting Australians.

Thieves only need some basic details such as name, date of birth, address, myGov details or tax file number (TFN) to commit identity crime.

If criminals steal your identity, it can take a long time to fix. It may be difficult for you to get a job, a loan, rent a house, or apply for government services or benefits.

If you’re unsure whether an ATO interaction is genuine, do not reply. If you receive an SMS or email claiming to be from the ATO, check with the ATO first to confirm it's genuine.

To protect against scams and identity theft, the ATO encourages individuals to:

  • run the latest software updates to ensure operating systems security is current
  • update antivirus software
  • always exercise caution when clicking on links and providing personal identifying information
  • never share personal information on social media, such as your TFN, myGov or bank account details.
  • avoid accessing online government services via a hyperlink in an email or SMS – only via an independent search
  • always access the ATO’s online services directly via ato.gov.au or my.gov.au or the ATO app
  • call the ATO on an independently sourced number to verify an interaction if in doubt
  • don't click on a link, open an attachment or download a file if in doubt.

Ensure your digital identity, such as your myGovID, is secure. Your digital identity is unique to you and shouldn’t be shared, as this will enable others access to your personal data across services such as tax and health.

If you suspect your TFN or ABN has been stolen, misused or compromised, phone the ATO’s Client Identity Support Centre on 1800 467 033 between 8.00am and 6.00pm Monday – Friday. They can investigate and place additional protective measures on your account.

If you think someone accessed your myGov account, including your linked ATO services, without your permission, phone the ATO on 13 28 61, between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

If you think someone has inappropriately accessed your personal information in myGovID, report this immediately – phone the ATO on 1300 287 539 (select option 2) between 8.00am and 6.00pm AEST, Monday to Friday.