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Five simple ways to protect your business from scammers this tax time

16 July 2018

The end of the financial year isn’t just a busy time for businesses – it’s also a prime time for cybercriminals who try to steal your information and money. 

It's a good time to stop and remind your employees of the increased risk and the simple steps you can take to reduce the risk to your business. 

Know the status of your tax affairs 

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a message is really from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or a scam. You’re less likely to fall victim to a scam if you’re aware of the details of debts owed, refunds due and lodgements outstanding. You can check these regularly if you are a sole trader through ATO Online linked via your myGov account or by contacting your registered tax professional.

Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity 

Keep an eye on your accounts for suspicious activity. If you notice transactions you didn’t make, contact the organisation immediately to confirm the transaction. 

Remove system access 

Unauthorised access to systems by past employees is a common security issue for business. Immediately remove access including AUSkey, from people who don’t work for you anymore or have changed roles and no longer require access.

Keep your business information safe 

Cybercriminals can use information such as your AUSkey to commit tax fraud in your name. Beware of anyone asking you to ‘confirm’ your details. And don’t share your details unless you’ve checked the person you’re dealing with is who they say they are. 

Be smart with social media! 

Much like your personal profile, consider what business information you’re sharing publicly. Scammers use information from social media to impersonate you and send emails to your clients requesting information or money.

Where to get help 

If you are ever unsure about a request for information or the validity of an ATO interaction, call the ATO Scam Hotline 1800 008 540 or visit ato.gov.au/scams.   

If you believe your business has been the victim of cybercrime, report it to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN)

If your business has experienced a data breach, contact the ATO for assistance on 1800 467 033 or visit www.ato.gov.au/databreachbusiness

Read more about how to stay cyber safe at tax time and where to get help. 

How scam savvy are you? 

Take this short quiz from the ATO to see if you and your business are ready to beat the scammers at their own game!