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Beware Business Name Renewal Emails

There are currently at least two emails targeting businesses with business names due for renewal in Australia. Both appear to be from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The senders are sourcing company details using publicly available tools (ABN Lookup and the companies own website) then sending emails to businesses with upcoming business name renewal dates using the contact information listed on the websites.

One of these emails currently hitting Australian business inboxes is from a private company, Online Business Registrations. This company sends an email just prior to the official ASIC renewal notice advising the business owner that their business name is due for renewal and offer to renew the name for one year for $99 or $199 for 3 years. The same business renewal price from ASIC is only $35 for one year or $99 for three years! This is a legitimate business and they are not doing anything against the law – so buyer beware.

A scam email that continues to circulate is a malicious malware sent to Australian company inboxes This email appears to be from ‘ASIC Messaging Service’ and is sent from a domain ending asicdesk.com or ato.govsec.biz or similar. See example below:-


At first glance this email looks genuine as it contains ASIC branding and the Australian Government coat of arms. It provides details on how to renew a business name and details on payments via credit card or requesting an invoice. The payment side of this email is not the scam, the cybercriminals want you to click on the links to download the malicious attachment, rather than dipping into your wallet.

Refer to our previous article on Cyber Safety, the take home message is that any email lacking personalisation, demanding payment or including an invoice should be carefully reviewed. ASIC issue their renewal notices 30 days prior to your renewal date. Rather than clicking on any link, login separately to your ASIC online account using ASIC Connect to look up and check when your business name is due for renewal.

Click  HERE to download the full edition of The Business Accelerator Magazine for December 2017.


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