Scams are designed to trick you into paying money or giving out your personal information. ATO constantly alerting for scams happening around. However, how can we know is it a tax scam? I hope this article can give you some ideas.
SMS scam – Tax refund notification
Have you ever received a text message as below image ? If you click on the link it will take you to a fake ‘Tax Refund’ form in order to steal your personal information. Please be aware that ATO does not have an online ‘Tax Refund’ form and they will never send an email or SMS asking you to access online services via a hyperlink.
Phone scam – imitating ATO phone numbers
Scammers are using technology to make it look like the calls originate from a legitimate ATO phone number. This number may appear on caller ID, be left on voice mail messages for call backs, or directed by *69 for call back functionality. Scammers do this to make the calls seem more valid when they call people a second time. Most frequently the numbers appearing are 6216 1111 and 1800 467 033, but numbers for individual ATO staff members have been used as well.
Please remember that a legitimate caller from the ATO will never:
- threaten you with arrest
- demand immediate payment, particularly through unusual means such as bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards or gift cards
- refuse to allow you to speak with a trusted advisor or your regular tax agent
- or present a phone number on caller ID.
If you are in any doubt about an ATO call hang up and phone ATO on 1800 008 540 to verify it.
Phone scam – fake tax agent
There is a new method of initiating a three-way conversation between the scammer, the victim, and another scammer impersonating the victim’s tax agent. Know the status of your tax affairs, you are less likely to fall victim to a scam.
The top five phone numbers scammers asked people to phone them back on in 2018 were:
- 02 8005 6533
- 08 7200 7074
- 02 6100 3019
- 07 5641 0370
- 07 5641 0350
Email scam – myGov tax refund notification
Scammers are emailing people from a fake myGov email address, asking them to fill out an application to receive a tax refund. The image below are some examples. Do not click anywhere in the email as it contains a malicious link and will direct you to a fake ‘Tax Refund’ form in order to steal your personal information. The ATO does not have an online ‘Tax Refund’ form. ATO won’t send you an email with a hyperlink directing you to log on to an online service to provide personal identifying information. All online management of your tax affairs should be carried out via your genuine myGov account.
If you are in doubt about an interaction you have had with someone claiming to be from the ATO, or you think you have fallen victim to an ATO impersonation scam, you can call 1800 008 540 between 8.00am–6.00pm, Monday to Friday.
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