COVID-19: Find information and support for business on our coronavirus page.

ATO COVID-19 scams

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is aware of a significant increase in Australians being targeted with COVID-19 scams, fraud attempts and deceptive email and SMS schemes. The ATO will communicate with you via SMS and email if you have applied for the JobKeeper payment, or early release of superannuation. However, if you’re unsure whether an ATO interaction is genuine, do not reply. If you receive an SMS or email claiming to be from the ATO, check the ATO's current SMS and email activities to confirm it's genuine.

May 2020 phone scam - requesting bank account details for the JobKeeper payment

The ATO is receiving reports of scammers pretending to be from the ATO calling members of the public and asking them to provide their bank account details. They are telling them that their employer has registered them for the JobKeeper Payment, but that the ATO needs their bank account details to deposit the funds into their account.

Do not provide the information requested. Employees that are eligible for JobKeeper payments will be paid by their employer and the ATO will reimburse their employer for these payments. The ATO does not need the bank account details of individual employees.

If you're not sure whether an ATO call is legitimate, hang up and call the ATO on 1800 008 540 to check. 

Go to the ATO website for information about the May 2020 phone scam and how to verify or report a scam.

Misinformation and scams

Cybercriminals are using websites, emails and text messages that claim to provide official information about the coronavirus, but are attempts to get your personal or business information.

Scammers are impersonating, by phone, email and text messages a range of official Australian and international organisations such as the Department of Health and the World Health Organisation, other government authorities and legitimate businesses, including:

  • financial institutions
  • travel agents
  • telecommunications companies

It is important to stay informed, not alarmed.

Find out more about COVID-19 scams.

Subscribe to StaySmartOnline for updates on the latest online threats.

What can you do to protect your business?

  • Don’t click on any links in emails, text messages or attachments from people or organisations you don’t know.
  • Contact the individual or company by phone and confirm the request.
  • Search the company, products or services online to confirm the advice (is it a professional website matching with the goods and services they offer?)
  • Does the company provide adequate information about privacy, terms and conditions of use, dispute resolution, or contact details?
  • Be careful about requests for bank account or other personal or business information.
  • Use trusted and established news sources.

Find advice on how to protect your business online.

Want more?

Read about COVID-19 related scams and threats.

Find out more tips on how to protect yourself from scams.

For more information on scams and trends, subscribe to the Scamwatch radar for email alerts.

If you think you have been scammed, find out how to report a scam or call 1300 795 995.