ASIC issues warning on scam emails
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has reminded its Registry customers of the need to be vigilant of scam emails
- Accountants working in public practice are becoming more exposed to scam email campaigns
- In 2016 Australians collectively lost more than A$77m to scam email campaigns
- Scam emails often appear at busy times of the year such as holiday and tax time
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has reminded its Registry customers of the need to be vigilant of scam emails purporting to be from ASIC.
As the ATO increasingly communicates directly — and digitally — with Australian taxpayers via the myGov online portal, accountants working in public practice are becoming more exposed to scam email campaigns.
According to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, in 2016 Australians collectively lost more than A$77m to scam email campaigns. Of the 144,433 cases reported, 7.2 per cent resulted in financial losses for the victims.
In a statement, ASIC said it is aware that some customers have received emails containing attachments or links to fake invoices.
Fake emails may look different to ASIC emails and generally instruct the recipient to click a link to make a payment or download an invoice. Scammers also use viruses, spyware or malware programs to access or steal your personal information.
“Scam emails often appear at busy times of the year such as holiday and tax time, when it's easy to overlook something suspicious,” ASIC Commissioner John Price said.
ASIC offers the following three tips to help avoid falling victim to scam email campaigns:
- Keep your antivirus, malware and spyware protection software current.
- Ensure you have a firewall and it is up to date.
- Scan email attachments with security software before opening them, especially if they are executable (.exe) files or zip (.zip) files. These files are more likely to contain malware or ransomware viruses.
Scam emails can be reported to the ACCC via the Scamwatch website, while more advice on guarding against scam email can be found on ASIC’s MoneySmart website.