Beware of Tax-related Scams

Several of our clients have been contacted recently by scammers claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office.

Telephone scams vary in their level of sophistication, however most sound very convincing and often provide fake reference numbers for the phone call.

The most common type of call relates to an “outstanding debt” or a “fraudulent tax lodgement” that needs to be resolved.

Some scammers will go so far as threatening to freeze your bank accounts or seize your assets unless the debt is paid immediately.

Victims are then harassed into providing credit card or bank account details to make payment.

 

There are tell-tale signs to look out for in this kind of situation. They include the following:

  • Cold calls (unsolicited calls) to your private home or mobile number
  • Foreign accents
  • Aggressive tone
  • Requests to make payment without having received any prior advice or correspondence from the ATO
  • Being asked for credit card numbers or bank details
  • Being offered discounts if you pay upfront
  • Claiming you are entitled a refund

 

Keep in mind that the ATO will never call you and ask for banking or personal details.

 

If you are unsure of the authenticity of a call you receive from the ATO or you think you have been a victim of a tax-related scam, we advise that you contact the ATO immediately on 13 28 61.

You should also contact your bank/financial institution as soon as possible if you provided your credit card details as part of the suspected scam.

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