Beware of scammers impersonating ATO


Tax. No, its never popular but even less popular are scammers who use the taxman’s name.

The ATO has noticed an alarming new trend in scam activity involving scammers impersonating TAX and BAS agents. This new scam is effective because clientsare trusting of their representatives, so you need to take care.

In a twist on the ‘fake tax debt’ scam, we have received increasing reports of a new scam method where scammers impersonate registered agents to lend legitimacy

to their phone call.
The fraudsters do this by:

  • Coercing the victim into revealing their agent’s name
  • Initiating a three-way phone conversation between the scammer, the victim, and another scammer impersonating the victim’s registered agent or someone from the agent’s practice.

Victims have fallen for this new approach. In one recent example, a victim withdrew thousands of dollars in cash and deposited it into a Bitcoin ATM, fearing police had a warrant out for their arrest.

The phone conversation with the scammers appeared legitimate, and the victim trusted the advice of the scammer ‘tax agent’.

What You Can Do

Help protect your money from these scammers. We will never:

  • Threaten you with arrest
  • Request payment by unusual means such as iTunes vouchers, store gift cards or Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

If you are suspicious about a phone call from someone claiming to be us, the ATO recommends you disconnect and call 1800 008 540 to verify the call.
Alternatively, you can hang up the call and contact us directly to confirm the status of your tax affairs.

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Colin Spooner

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