Scammers targeting JobKeeper applicants

The Australian Taxation Office is warning business owners and employees to be on the lookout for phone scams relating to the new JobKeeper payments.

Scammers, pretending to be from the ATO, ask for bank details so they can process JobKeeper wage subsidy payments.

SCAM ALERT: The ATO has warned will never ask a person to reply and provide personal information like a Tax File Number (TFN) or bank account number via text or email nor will it use hyperlinks in its messages.

SCAM ALERT: The ATO has warned will never ask a person to reply and provide personal information like a Tax File Number (TFN) or bank account number via text or email nor will it use hyperlinks in its messages.

The ATO has once again urged people to remember that while it will use email and SMS to communicate, it will never ask a person to reply and provide personal information like a Tax File Number (TFN) or bank account number via text or email nor will it use hyperlinks in its messages.

The ATO website states that the ATO does not need bank account details of individual employees to process JobKeeper payments.

If they're eligible, employees will be paid by their employer and the ATO will reimburse their employer for these payments.

Jaqueline Jayne, a security awareness advocate at KnowBe4, said it was important to understand schemes that are designed to help large parts of the population, such as JobKeeper, would often be seen as targets for scammers.

"Cybercriminals are relentless. They see Covid-19 as an opportunity to take advantage of human nature to entrap unsuspecting people," she said.

"Situations of 'hacking and fraud' have increased over the last few weeks and this is purely due to the amount of money at stake.

"These are known as 'honeypots' to cybercriminals and their efforts to access them are sophisticated. We can only hope that the silver lining here is more non-cybersecurity savvy people will start to increase their suspicions when it comes to SMS messages, voicemails, emails and phone scammers."

Have you been scammed?

Have you been a victim of a recent scam?

Australian Community Media is interested in publishing first-hand accounts from those who have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous operators.

If you're interested in sharing your story as a warning to others, contact Anna Wolf at anna.wolf@austcommunitymedia.com.au

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