People are suffering financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. As a result, they are looking for ways to ease their difficult circumstances. This is why many can become unsuspecting victims of phishing and email scams. The latest is phishing myGov accounts by cybercriminals.
Cyberattacks to Million Aussies
Recently, the Australian government issued a warning about fake myGov access. This fake log-in can get your details on Medicare, JobKeeper, and JobSeeker accounts.
Not only that, but cybercriminals can harvest your credit card details. When this happens, they can make fraudulent purchases on the Internet using your information. These criminals can also steal your identity.
What Does Fake Log-in Look Like?
It is best to know how this fake log-in looks like and the process.
You receive an email about eligibility for a refund, amounting to more than $100. In this email, you will be asked to fill out a form to get the tax refund.
At first glance, the fake myGov log-in looks the same as the actual myGov access. The branding elements, logos, and the log-in page are copied faithfully. However, the URL is different from the original website of the Australian government. It seems the site originates from India. The email address of the originating email will also differ substantially from the official ATO website.
Once you supply your myGov account log-in, you are redirected to another website. If you look closely, the page is a phishing site. It harvests your personal and critical details such as birthday, address, and even credit card details. You should not proceed any further at this stage but instead contact your IT department or run a Full Virus/Anti-malware scan of your computer.
If you are unsure if you are entitled to a refund(especially if you have already lodged your tax return), you should contact your Accountant or Tax Agent and have them verify the situation for you.
What to Do to Avoid Phishing?
More than 18 Million Australians have a myGov account. Therefore, if you have one, you are vulnerable to these attacks. Make sure that you follow the safety precautions that the government suggests.
According to the government, they never send emails or text messages that contain links to webpages. If you have received emails about a refund, report it to myGov. Also, protect your account by doing these simple measures.
- Never share your myGOV details with others.
- Use PIN if you access your myGOV account on a mobile device.
- Change your password regularly and never use one password for all online accounts.
- Be observant of emails you receive, especially during these times of hardships and economic crisis. In particular check the full address that the email has come from.
Websites ensure the safety of your personal information. However, it does not free you from being a responsible online user. It is still your responsibility to protect all of your data at all cost. If you think your myGov account is compromised, contact the MyGov helpdesk immediately on 13 23 07 (Option 1).
For any assistance on tax refunds and offset, make a habit of consulting a tax expert at Sphere Accountants and Advisors. These tax experts are licensed by the government and bound by an oath to give tax advice and planning.