The ATO have recently reported that they have experienced a 43% increase of cases where tax has been paid to ATO scammers.
In July 2019 alone, over $200,000 was paid to scammers who were impersonating ATO staff.
As technology improves, these scammers are coming up with advanced and concerningly indiscernible ways to earn your trust and steal your money.
Recent tactics employed by these scammers include:
- Using real ATO phone numbers to make calls and take payments
- Sending strikingly real-looking emails with fraudulent details
- Quoting small titbits of real personal information (sourced from public social media accounts) in order to convince people of their genuineness
- Using platforms such as WhatsApp to demand payment of ‘overdue’ tax, with fraudulent links to payment gateways
Something smells fishy
How can you tell if correspondence from the ATO is real or a scam?
- The ATO will NEVER ask for payment using iTunes gift cards (neither will any legitimate business)
- If you have never heard of an ATO debt being due, always call your accountant or log in to your myGov account to check first, then get the details to make the payment from here
- Never use payment details given in a text message or email from an unknown source
General safety precautions
- Never give your personal information out to unknown people – even the smallest detail can be used against you
- Avoid using links in emails to text messages to go to websites – enter it in or google it yourself
- Keep an eye on the ATO scam watch (link here) to keep yourself in the loop on the latest scammer tactics