The number of email and telephone scams appearing to be from the ATO has increased dramatically over the last few months.

Email scams usually claim that you have an unexpected tax refund and ask you to click on a link to verify your details. This link will then take you to a false website and ask you to enter personal information such as your credit card or bank account details. Other scam emails have an attachment infected with a virus known as the "Cryptolocker Virus" which holds your computer at ransom, until you pay a specified amount.

Telephone scams are usually aggressive and may claim that you have a warrant out for your arrest due to taxes not being paid. They will usually demand that you pay a fee in order to resolve the matter. If you receive one of these calls, do not give out any personal information and hang up immediately.

If you are unsure about any communication you receive or believe you have been the victim of a scam, contact the ATO immediately on 1800 008 540. Alternatively, contact your accountant who can then contact the ATO on your behalf. If you provided personal information such as your credit card or bank account details, you should also contact your bank/financial institution as soon as possible.