New ATO alerts are legitimate

ATO SMS alerts

New detailed text alerts from the ATO regarding changes in an SMSF are legitimate and part of an upgraded anti-fraud system.

SMSF advisers and trustees receiving more detailed SMS alerts from the ATO should be aware they are part of an updated service from the regulator and not scam activity, an SMSF technical expert has advised.

Heffron SMSF technical and education services director Leigh Mansell said the ATO has made changes to its SMS alert service for sector following requests for more information to be contained in the alerts.

“ATO alerts are to help your clients and prevent fraudulent activity on their super accounts. [Further] it has taken some feedback on board and what [the regulator] has done moving forward is to make it easier to see what the change [that created the alert] is,” Mansell explained during a recent webinar.

“So if the bank account of the fund has been changed or there has been the addition of a new member or trustee to the fund or some other change has taken place, what should happen now is [for] your client [to receive] an SMS saying there has been a change to the fund and what the change is,” she added.

“This will make it easier at a glance for your client to state ‘yes, we changed the bank account, we changed the electronic service address’.

“Don’t think these messages are dodgy as this is a deliberate anti-fraud measure that hopefully will have a bit more clarity in terms of what clients are looking for.

Mansell pointed out SMSF trustees will only receive these messages if they have provided the ATO with their mobile number or email address.

“If you want your clients to get these messages they will need to make sure that the ATO has got relevant contact details on hand.”

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