ATO Issues High Alert due to Spike in November Tax Scams
Scammers pretending to be from the ATO have been contacting Australians across the country asking them to pay their debts and give out personal information and whilst the ATO regularly contacts taxpayers by phone, email and SMS there are signs to look out for that it could be a scammer on the other end.
Top tips for recognizing a tax scam:
- There is a number displayed in your caller ID - the ATO never projects their numbers using caller ID
- Requesting a payment of debt to be made via vouchers, pre-paid visa cards, cryptocurrancy or direct credit to a bank account where the BSB is NOT 092-009 or 093-003.
- Threatening arrest, jail or deportation - the ATO will never use aggressive or rude behaviour.
- Requesting a fee to release a refund owed to you
- Send an email with a link to provide login, personal or financial information
- Send an email requesting to download a file or open an attachment
If you feel you have or are being targeted by scammers it is okay to hang up immediately and contact the ATO on 1800 008 540 or VGA on 8932 2390 to confirm if the call is legitimate or to report the scam.
Whilst this is the most common scam at the moment, scammers constantly change their tactics and taxpayers should always be aware of unsolicited emails, SMS and phone calls. If in doubt, always contact the ATO or your accountant directly.