Rising iron ore prices couldn't protect the Australian share market from the fallout from the latest political drama in the US, with all sectors shedding value as investor sentiment was hit by concerns about the future of the Trump administration's economic agenda. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell one per cent to 5,673.8 points, as a handful of resources stocks providing the only bright spot. Global markets have been jittery following the release of emails connecting Donald Trump Jr, the US President's eldest son, to Russian support for his father's 2016 election campaign, again raising concerns over the durability of the US administration. But the Australian dollar is stronger against a US dollar weakened by the Trump Jr emails, trading at 76.51 US cents at 1630 AEST, from 76.18 US cents on Tuesday. 


What this means for you:

We would like to send a timely reminder to all of our clients to be vigilant against online scams in the wake of QLD police having charged a 75-year-old man with receiving more than a million dollars from ransomware victims as the representative of overseas scammers. Victims were contacted by cold-calling overseas criminals and told their computer needed repairs, Mackay police allege. If the victims agreed to provide remote access into the machine, the scammers would download and install ransomware on their computers and demand money to unlock the files. 

While such scams are an issue all year round we are now heading into a time of year where we see an increased number of scams from scammers purporting they are from the Australian Taxation Office. You should be wary of emails, faxes, SMS and phone calls claiming to be from the ATO. These could be scams designed to trick you into paying money or providing personal information. Once they have your information, scammers may use it to: 

1. Access your bank accounts
2. Take out loans in your name
3. Lodge false tax returns or BAS statements
4. Claim Centrelink or other benefits.
If you think you are a victim of a tax-related scam, phone the ATO on 1800 008 540 (8.00am–6.00pm, Monday–Friday). You should do this as soon as possible. If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from the ATO, do not click on any links, open attachments or respond to the sender. Forward the entire email to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au without changing or adding any additional information and delete from your inbox and sent folder.