Phishing Down Under

Written by Dan Blacharski on June 30, 2009

The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that a new scam is making the rounds in the land down under. A perpetrator of a phishing scam has created an email scam, claiming to be the Australian Tax Office (ATO). The email promises Aussie taxpayers a $250 bonus with their tax return, and sends them to an online form that asks for their tax information, along with their bank account data.

The web site containing the form then asks the victim to mail a printed copy of the form to an address. The print-and-send is just a ruse though, the data is actually captured through a hack when the victim presses the “print” button. The email, like many such scams, attempts to create a sense of false security, by claiming the print-and-send routine is being done for the victim’s safety.

Officials still have not been able to trace the source of the fraudulent email sender, who is using a bot network to send the emails. The ATO recommends that people delete emails like this immediately, and advises that they do not ask people to provide personal information by email. The same holds true for most, if not all, tax collecting agencies in other countries.

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