Australian Tax Office detects ‘fraud’ over early superannuation scheme

The Australian Taxation Office says it has detected fraudsters attempting to scam the Government’s early access superannuation scheme.

The ATO has told Sky News it is investigating “fraudulent activity” affecting the scheme, and users have already reported having money stolen.

According to Sky, there have been at least 100 cases, with one applicant reporting having their details stolen and losing $10,000 from a super account.

The Australian Federal Police has been called in to investigate the matter urgently after the issue was raised on Wednesday.

In a statement to Sky News, the ATO said: “A small number of people appear to have had personal details unlawfully used in a bid to defraud the program. This has been stopped and the impacted individuals are being contacted.

“The matter is currently under investigation by the AFP and for operational reasons we are unable to comment further at this stage.”

More than 950,000 Australians have applied to access their superannuation since April 20, with $7.9 billion in claims to be paid out.

The ATO said their online systems remained safe.

The Federal Government launched the scheme in response to the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis.

Eligible Aussies were able to grab $10,000 from their super this financial year and a further $10,000 in 2020-21, with applications being accepted through Australian Taxation Office online services in myGov.

To be eligible for early release of super, a citizen or permanent resident of Australia and New Zealand must be either unemployed or eligible to receive the Jobseeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment, special benefit or farm household allowance.

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