Removal of ATO SMS hyperlinks

ATO announces the removal of hyperlinks in SMS

The ATO is in the process of removing hyperlinks from all outbound unsolicited SMS by Tax Time 2024.

Removing hyperlinks is a scam-preventative measure. It will help protect the community by making it easier to identify legitimate ATO SMS interactions and provide trust and confidence in the ATO’s tax, superannuation and registry systems. 

There has been significant growth in the use of SMS by cybercriminals.

Throughout the 2022–23 financial year, SMS scams impersonating the ATO brand, products, services and employees increased by over 400%. 

Cybercriminals often use hyperlinks in targeted SMS phishing scams. The hyperlinks take individuals to highly sophisticated fraudulent websites (such as a fake myGov sign-in page) designed to steal their personal information or install malware.  

The ATO  may use SMS  to contact you, but will never include links to log-in pages. If you want to access the ATO’s online services, always type or into your internet browser yourself. 

This change also serves as a timely reminder to protect your information. Do not give out your TFN, date of birth or bank details unless you trust the person you are dealing with, and they genuinely require these details. 

If you think communication such as a phone call, SMS, voicemail, email or interaction on social media claiming to be from the ATO is not genuine, do not engage with it. You should either: 

  • go to Verify or report a scam to see how to spot and report a scam 
  • phone the ATO on 1800 008 540 if you have divulged information or remitted a payment to a scammer. 

For information and examples of ATO impersonation scams see Scam alerts »