How to verify or report a suspected scam
Sadly scamming is on the rise with the ATO being a favourite. It can be alarming to receive a phone call from someone posing as the ATO and quite often difficult to determine the authenticity of the caller. Below are some tips on how to identify a potential scam:
- Cold calling (unsolicited calls)
- The caller may be pushy to book an appointment, and advise that there are ATO representatives in your neighbourhood now
- The caller advises of 'schemes' to help reduce your tax and offers to provide financial advice
- You are advised that there is a warrant for your arrest
- The callers use an aggressive tone
- You are asked to make a payment without having received any prior advice or correspondence from the ATO
- The caller advises that you have been chosen for a business grant
- You are asked to phone to organise the collection of the grant. When phoning, you will likely be asked for personal information, including financial details, or requested to pay an amount to have the money released. You may also be asked to provide other personal information that could be used to steal your identity.
- The caller provides details which may be similar to actual ATO officer details or addresses – however, the street name may be spelt incorrectly, or the wrong postcode is provided with the address
- The caller advises that you have an unclaimed refund
- You are asked to pay a sum of money to a third party in order to receive the refund
- The payment must be made through a money transfer
and most importantly
- The return phone number is a NSW number (prefix of (02)) rather than a national 1300 number.
The ATO advises taxpayers to be vigilant when receiving phone calls of the above nature. Never return a phone call from a message to a number starting with (02). Never provide a caller with any personal information.
If in doubt about the authenticity of a call that you receive from the ATO, immediately call the ATO on 1800 008 540.
More information about ATO scams can be found on the ATO website.
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