Warning! Email scam which appears to be from a legitimate source

Increasingly, criminals are trying to scam unsuspecting people by posing as another person or organisation through emails. From a quick glance, these emails appear to be legitimate, however, with a little digging, you will find that they are not genuine at all.

A typical scam email

A typical scam email will show the sender name to be that of a well-known organisation or government department. One we received recently appeared to be from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The body of the email will also appear to be genuine and it will proceed to request you to provide information as you normally would if you were legitimately dealing with that organisation.


Check the email’s legitimacy

Before engaging with the sender, we urge you to first vet its legitimacy.  You can do this by looking at the email address of the sender.  Using the example above, the sender name, although it looked genuine, in actual fact the address was unrelated to ASIC.  Most online applications (eg Gmail) will show the email address next to the sender name so it is easily identifiable. With desktop applications (eg Microsoft Outlook), you may need to click on the sender name for the address to appear.  If the address looks suspicious, we recommend that you discard the email immediately.


Some scam emails addresses may even look legitimate as the name of the well-known organisation forms part of the domain. If the email looks suspicious or you were not expecting to receive the email, please discard it.


Still unsure?

If you are still unsure about the legitimacy of the email, you can always contact the organisation directly to find out more. We recommend that you search for the contact details separately and not use the details contained within the email.


Have a look at this article regarding criminals posing as ATO officers.