ATO warns of forged e-mail scam

The Australian Tax Office is warning taxpayers of forged e-mails masquerading as legitimate ATO correspondence.

The forged e-mails may contain a virus, the ATO warns.

A spokesperson from the ATO said not much is known yet about the virus origin and it was unable to calculate how many people have so far been affected.

“We have had enough people phoning our call centre in the last couple of weeks to warrant a warning being posted on our Web site. We think it is important to issue a warning considering the huge amount of people we deal with,” the spokesperson said.

The ATO ask that customers treat with caution any unsolicited e-mail that appears to come from the Tax Office – especially if there has not been any recent correspondence and there is no apparent reason for the e-mail. The ATO encourages people to ensure their computers have the most up-to-date antivirus software with an e-mail virus checking facility enabled.

The Tax Office claims to employ the best practice security techniques and say it has a rigorous antivirus regime in place to prevent the distribution of viruses from its systems.

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