5 April 2024

Government warns of malicious myGov scammers


Joint media release with
The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

The Albanese Government urges Australians to be vigilant to scammers targeting ATO log in details to commit tax fraud.

The ATO has received a large number of reports of scammers using fake myGov sites to steal myGov sign in details that can be used to commit tax and refund fraud in other people's names.

These criminals will often use text message or email to lure people into clicking a link using phrases such as 'You are due to receive an ATO Direct refund' or ‘You have a new message in your myGov inbox – click here to view’.

To be clear – the ATO or myGov will never send an email or text message with a link to sign in to myGov.

The Albanese Government is working hard to protect Australians from scammers and early signs show this plan is working.

Earlier this month, the Assistant Treasurer released the second quarterly National Anti‑Scam Centre report, which found scam losses reported to Scamwatch reduced by 43 per cent from the same quarter in 2022, and 26 per cent from the July to September 2023 quarter.

This is only phase one of the Government’s scammer crackdown. The next phase involves mandatory industry codes, which will introduce minimum, consistent obligations for all regulated businesses to prevent, detect, disrupt, and respond to scams.

Last year, the ATO introduced new fraud controls to help protect Australians from online identity theft. This includes using myGovID to strengthen security during the sign‑in processes on myGov accounts, making it more difficult for criminals to gain access.

In last year’s Budget, the Government committed $223 million to the ATO‑led Serious Financial Crimes Taskforce, as part of our continued commitment to crack down on fraud.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones MP:

“The Albanese Government is working hard to fight the scourge of scammers, but it’s important that Australians remain vigilant to the warning signs and report any suspicious activity.

“Scam losses are going down for the first time in years and almost halved in the last quarter of 2023.

“This is a direct result of the Government’s investment to crack down on scammers and make it harder for them to target to Aussie consumers.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Government Services, Bill Shorten MP:

“A very secure way to interact with myGov is via the myGov app. In the same way many of us use banking apps, most modern phones will allow you to sign in to myGov with fingerprint or face recognition, so you don’t need to use a user ID, password and an SMS code.

“With the number of scam websites increasing dramatically, everyone needs to be vigilant. Last year, Services Australia and partners responded to over 6,000 scams attempting to impersonate myGov.

“The Albanese Labor Government wants a safe and secure myGov, and the myGov app is fast, convenient and secure. You can also set up push notifications within the app to securely receive new messages and updates about myGov.”