Gabi Power 09 January 2023 17:13:10 AEDT 7 MIN READ

New Scam Email Promises myGov Refund of $640.98

After Christmas and New Year’s, who couldn’t use a bit of extra cash? Cybercriminals are well aware of the financial difficulties that many Australians are currently facing and are taking advantage of this in a new email phishing scam.

A myGov branded email with the subject line “You have an outstanding refund from MyGov !” is now being blocked by MailGuard. The sender name shows “myGov” and the email actually comes from “refund(at)my(dot)gov(dot)au”. Although the email address is not associated with myGov, it’s similar enough to their legitimate address that it could easily fool an unsuspecting individual.

The email opens with a generic “Dear customer”, and then explains that the recipient has an outstanding refund of $640.98 from myGov. The user is then instructed to click a link in order to “accept a fast online payment”. The link appears as though it will take the recipient to a genuine myGov login page, although it’s just regular text which has been hyperlinked ad actually directs to a phishing site.

Here's an example of the email:

image 1-Jan-09-2023-06-09-12-1575-AM

After clicking the link, the user is taken to a fake myGov login page, which uses Australian Government branding to help feign authenticity. The user is directed to enter their username and password before proceeding. If entered, these will be harvested by the cybercriminal and stored for later use.

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Next, the victim is instructed to enter their “Billing Informations”, which includes:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Credit card number
  • Credit card expiration date
  • CVV number

These details will again be stolen by the criminal and will likely be used for their personal financial gain or sold on the dark web.

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Then, the victim is asked to enter a code that has been sent to their mobile. Typically these codes are used to verify credit card payments, although it is not specified what the code is for in this case. 

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Refund scams are a cruel type of attack that target vulnerable individuals who could use the money promised. Instead, they risk financial and identity fraud. It’s not the first time MailGuard has intercepted and blocked a scam like this, so if the email you’ve received doesn’t quite match what’s shown above, check out our articles from November, October and June 2022.

myGov offers the following advice to all users:

“myGov is delivered by Services Australia. We will never send you an email or SMS with a hyperlink directing you to sign in to your myGov account. Always access myGov by typing in the web address yourself.

Services Australia and myGov will never send you an email or text message asking for your:

  • username
  • password
  • myGov PIN
  • secret questions and answers
  • personal details.

When you are signed in to myGov, the messages in your myGov Inbox are secure. It’s safe to open links included in myGov Inbox messages.”

MailGuard advises all recipients of this email to delete it immediately without clicking on any links. Providing your personal details can result in your sensitive information being used for criminal activity and may have a severe negative impact on your business and its financial well-being.     

MailGuard urges users not to click links or open attachments within emails that:       

  • Are not addressed to you by name.       
  • Appear to be from a legitimate company but use poor English or omits personal details that a legitimate sender would include.       
  • Are from businesses that you were not expecting to hear from, and/or       
  • Take you to a landing page or website that is not the legitimate URL of the company the email is purporting to be sent from.      

Many businesses turn to MailGuard after an incident or a near miss, often as a result of an email similar to the one shown above. If unwanted emails are a problem for your business, don’t wait until it’s too late.  

Reach out to our team for a confidential discussion by emailing or calling 1300 30 44 30.

One email is all that it takes     

All that it takes to devastate your business is a cleverly worded email message that can steal sensitive user credentials or disrupt your business operations. If scammers can trick one person in your company into clicking on a malicious link or attachment, they can gain access to your data or inflict damage on your business.     

For a few dollars per staff member per month, you can protect your business with MailGuard's predictive and advanced email security. Talk to a solution consultant at MailGuard today about securing your company's inboxes.  

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