Beware of Scams
The end of the financial year is here. Everyone, especially those scrambling at the last minute to get their receipts in order, should keep an eye out for the accompanying onslaught of tax scams.
Posing as the Australian Taxation Office in particular has been a key vehicle for scammers to target victims, with considerable success over the years.
According to an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report, scams targeting Australians last year cost an estimated $851 million. Reported financial losses over the past five years show a clear upward trajectory.
And while this is clearly concerning, it only represents a portion of the overall problem, as many victims are unlikely to report being scammed.
While the ATO does phone and send text messages to individuals, it will never ask you to make a payment to avoid an arrest warrant, nor will it threaten you with revoking your Tax File Number, as is done in some scams. It also won’t ever call you using a recorded message.
Be wary of scam emails or website messages based simply on its appearance. Anyone can copy the ATO’s website and branding. The ATO will never send you an email or text with a hyperlink directing you to an ATO Login page.
If you know you’ve been scammed, or suspect you may have been, the first step is to contact the ATO on 1800 467 033 or see ato.gov.au/scams. You can also report a scan through scamwatch.gov.au. Report suspicious emails to ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au.
Should you have any concerns regarding any contact you have received from the ATO please don’t hesitate to contact our office on 1300 620 345.