The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned the public of a new email scam concerning the JobKeeper wage subsidy.
The fake email impersonates the ATO, asking business owners to disclose their personal information as part of the authority’s review of the JobKeeper payment.
The Tax Office has published an image of the email scam it said is currently circulating, confirming that it is fake.
“The fake emails say we’re investigating your claims. They ask you to provide valuable personal information, including copies of your driver’s licence and Medicare card,” the ATO said.
“You should never give out your personal information unless you’re sure of who you are dealing with.”
Anyone that has received a message from the ATO asking for personal information is encouraged to get in touch with the office by phoning 1800 008 540 to make sure it’s legitimate.
According to data from the ACCC, small businesses lost $4.5 million to scams in the first half of the year, up from $1.4 million in the previous six-month period, with fraudsters turning to business email compromise and overpayment scams to extort a record amount of money.
“When people think of scam victims, they imagine vulnerable consumers, but scammers target small businesses, too, and they are re-inventing old payment scams with COVID-19 themes,” ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said earlier this year.
COVID-19-related issues affecting small businesses saw the number of enquiries to the ACCC in the first half of this year increase by 42 per cent, compared with the previous six months.
“The impact of the pandemic on small businesses has been enormous, and we have re-prioritised our work and resources to help businesses and consumers work through many of the issues,” Mr Keogh added.