ATO Alert: Enhanced Security Measures for SMS Communications
In a proactive move, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has announced the removal of hyperlinks from all outbound unsolicited SMS by Tax Time 2024. This measure is designed to prevent scams, providing added security and ease of identification for legitimate ATO SMS interactions. The initiative aims to bolster trust and confidence in the ATO’s tax, super and registry systems.
The surge in cybercriminals exploiting SMS has been significant, with SMS scams impersonating the ATO experiencing a staggering 400% increase throughout the 2022–23 financial year. Hyperlinks in SMS phishing scams are frequently used by these criminals to direct individuals to sophisticated fraudulent websites, posing threats such as stealing personal information or installing malware.
While the ATO may use SMS or email to request contact, it is crucial to note that unsolicited messages containing links or requests for personal identifying information (PII) will never be sent through these channels. To access online services, always manually type my.gov.au or ato.gov.au into your internet browser.
This change serves as a timely reminder to safeguard your information. Avoid sharing your TFN, date of birth or bank details unless absolutely certain of the trustworthiness and necessity of the recipient.
In case of suspicion regarding communication claiming to be from the ATO, refrain from engagement. Instead, visit Verify or report a scam for guidance on spotting and reporting scams or contact the ATO directly at 1800 008 540, if you’ve disclosed information or paid a scammer.
Your vigilance plays a crucial role in maintaining the security of your personal information.
For more information, speak with your Simmons Livingstone advisor on 1800 618 800 or via email at email@example.com.