Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Telephone Scammers – BEWARE!
The war against honest taxpayers is escalating, but not by the Tax Office!
There is an industry of scammers successfully hoodwinking people.
It is very easy to be caught off guard by a telephone caller identifying themself from the Government of Tax Office, indicating that the conversation will be recorded and then offering a settlement of a dispute with tax debt or a prosecution or a speeding offence. Efforts to trace these people are going to be futile and as you may appreciate, any payments made will be quickly swept into another untraceable account.
According to the ATO, phone scams are the number one type of scam in Australia. Scammers can impersonate ATO employees to obtain personal information. Generally, phone scams demand payment for an unexpected debt or offer an unexpected refund or grant.
The ATO warns that any information provided now can build up a profile over time and sold to other criminals to commit identity fraud – even years later.
The best response is “I don’t ever discuss anything over the phone with the Tax Office”. If the callers persists – “put it in writing to may tax agent. You should know who that is”.
A website to follow up on the latest scams:-
Scam Watch https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/