Click nothing, question everything

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How to avoid end of year email and SMS scams.

The end of financial year is a peak time for scammers, sending official-looking emails and texts from financial institutions, and government agencies including the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) many of us might deal with only once a year.

Their scams are now more sophisticated and convincing then ever. So what is the best way to beat them? Absolute scepticism.

Believe nothing, open nothing, whether its via SMS, email, social media or the phone, never click on anything and never give out your personal or banking details.

Never click on a URL. Never click on a link. Never open an attachment. And never, ever provide passwords or confirm details.

Legitimate businesses and bodies like banks, the ATO, ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission) or MyGov do not contact you via SMS or email – it is not how they communicate.

So if you do receive a random communication which has anything to do with your finances, or your identity, assume it’s a scam.

The key is to be vigilant. The best place to check if something is safe, is to telephone the business or body direct to seek verification of the communications authenticity. DO NOT call any telephone number listed within the SMS, email etc. instead, use contact details that you have sourced independently – for example via a trusted online search engine or telephone directory.


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