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ATO SCAM ALERT March 28, 2007

Posted by wmmbb in Life Experience.

I note how commenters at Catallaxy are united in the opinion of how bad and stupid David Hicks maybe, as if that would justify his treatment at Guantanamo, and his denial of fair trial. Fair trials, on the contrary, the no more necessary for the foolish and the bad, as anybody else. It just amazes me that people who presume to make judgments without giving people the opportunity to express their side of events represented by a competent attorney.

So as not to lose the thread the theme is gullibility, if not stupidity. Probably like hundreds of others, I received an email purportedly from the Australian Tax Office requesting my credit card details to get a tax return. The email looked credible. So I went ahead to claim my refund and provided my details. Luckily I was told it was a scam almost immediately, and cancelled my credit card.

It is a good money saving exercise, but otherwise very inconvenient not to have access to my account. Still I have a lot of sympathy for David Hicks and other stupid people. The clever can be insufferable, if not inhuman.

Here is the email text with logo:


After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $173
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process it.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.

To access the form for your tax refund, please click here

Regards, Australian Government

© Copyright 2006, Australian Taxation Office – All rights reserved..

The good news is that the link no longer works on my server, and hopefully all servers. The signoff is a bit of a give away. I would guess it signed by the (Deputy) Commissioner of Taxation.

Postscript: 29 March 2007

I was told it is possible to find the source of emails. This can be done in Outlook Express by going into View/Options – Internet Headers. The message box is at the bottom, which in this case has this information:

07:56:55 +1000 (EST)
Received: from User (sautoser.static.otenet.gr [])
(authenticated bits=0)
by ss54.shared.server-system.net ( with ESMTP id l2QMBC07007114;
Mon, 26 Mar 2007 15:11:14 -0700

I take that to mean that this email originated in Greece (.gr). This appears to be the ISP used by the scammers. A test for the long arm of the ATO?



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