Got a QR code for a MyGov Tax Refund? IT’S A SCAM

MyGov QR code scam
Another day, another MyGov Scam — this time using the power of QR codes (badly) to hide the fact that it’s a complete scam.

So, the above just landed in my inbox, which was odd, because it’s actually too early to put in my tax return for the 2023-2024 financial year, given that for most individuals that will conclude at the end of June.

Still, hey, looks realistic, says it’s from MyGov, has a handy QR code… what’s the worst that could happen?

A complete takeover of your MyGov account, probably theft of your actual tax refunds, identity theft and fraud for starters. Lots of headaches as you try to rectify this for the main course. Pain and suffering for dessert. Doesn’t sound tasty, does it?

The actual email, by the way, doesn’t have those warped red smears on it; it just looks like a regular QR code.

I smeared paint over my screenshot of it in a higgledy-piggledy fashion, because I want to make absolutely sure that nobody gets tempted to scan it and “try”, but I have zero doubt that it’ll land on a site that looks just like the actual MyGov site… but it’s not. It’s just another scammer’s portal designed to try to slurp up your MyGov details for their own criminal purposes.

How can you be sure it’s not legit?

There’s two dead giveaways. Firstly, if I hover over MyGov email address field, it resolves to a domain that most definitely is NOT an Australian government service (though again, it’s trying really hard to make it seem like it might be).

But really, the key giveaway is that there’s any kind of link at all. MyGov messages are dead boring when they do come through, because they typically read along the lines of the following:

You have a new message in your MyGov inbox.

That’s it. That’s the lot. No links, no QR codes, no easy way to log in and that’s 100% BY DESIGN.

The Australian Government is well aware of the issues with scammers pretending to be government support sites, which is why they never send out messages with links in them at all. I’ve written about this before, whether it’s with cost-of-living scams, SMS Refund Scams… this MyGov QR code scam is just the latest in a long, sad line really. I’ve even written about the classic ways you can spot a MyGov scam before, and this 100% accords with that too.

I’m not sure. Maybe I should use the QR code — it looks official, it has a MyGov logo

Trust me, it’s not. But if you are concerned, the smartest thing to do is open a fresh browser window, type in the URL for the MyGov site (and if you don’t know it, a Google search will still find it as the number one result), ensure that you LAND on the MyGov site by checking the URL when you get there — and then sign in and check your inbox that way.

NEVER from a link in an email, SMS QR code, or even if it comes via carrier pigeon for that sake. Just never.

But hey, I’m just some guy on the Internet. Don’t believe me? Scamwatch has some wonderful educational resources on how to deal with scams like this MyGov QR code scam which you can access right here. Or if you really don’t feel safe right now, search up Scamwatch AU, and that’ll find the same thing for you.

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