Businesses in NSW, Queensland and the United Kingdom have today reported receiving scam emails threatening imposition of penalties for unpaid payroll tax and including a link to a fake Office of State Revenue (OSR) webpage.
NSW Chief Commissioner of State Revenue Tony Newbury said his office had received numerous reports about the scam.
“The initial scam email is a poorly worded ‘notice of reassessment’ and refers to a penalty tax of between 15 to 19 percent with interest calculated on a daily basis,” he said.
“It includes a link titled More Information that leads to a fake but convincing OSR page.
“When you click further into the fake page your computer will be corrupted and infected with a crypto locker virus, with a ransom demand to reinstall files.
“OSR has tested the scam email and found it destroyed all files on a computer.”
Mr Newbury warned people not to open the attachment if they receive one of these scam emails.
“This involves a very malicious virus,” he said. “Don’t respond to the demand for a ransom to have your files returned as this will involve you providing your financial details to criminals.
“Any legitimate OSR emails will come from official email addresses that end with nsw.gov.au.
“These latest scam emails are coming from firstname.lastname@example.org
“Criminals have used the OSR brand in recent weeks to attempt a number of scams including callers impersonating officers from a fake Department of Finance, offering $7,000 refunds and attempting to gain personal information including dates of birth.
“Last week scammers issued fake speeding fines via email to consumers in Australia and overseas.
“They are relentless.
“If you’re unsure of whether any email or phone call is legitimate, call OSR on 1300 139 815.”
The Office of State Revenue has referred the scam and fake webpage to AUSCERT (https://www.auscert.org.au/).
Reports in NSW have come from Sydney city business as well as businesses in Engadine, Rydalmere, Rosehill, Wollongong, Rose Bay and Pyrmont.