In the whole of 2012, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) received 26,000 reports of scam emails related to tax. In the first quarter of this year, the number was 11,000 — three times as many as this time last year.
Tax scam emails are often designed for identity theft: victims are lured into supplying personal details in return for promises of a non-existent return. The ATO's advice is simple: bin those emails (or forward them to the ATO's dedicated investigations unit). And never supply your tax file number casually over email or the phone.