Scammers claiming to be from the ATO and demanding payment of an ‘outstanding tax debt’ are unfortunately not new, however these past few months the ATO has issued numerous alerts in regards to phone scams in particular as there has been an increased number of these in recent months.
These phone scams can take various forms, the most recent ones include;
A robotic sounding voicemail demanding payment by a certain date and threatening arrest
A three-way call with a fake ATO employee and a fake tax agent claiming to work with your tax agent threatening arrest if payment is not made at a particular location today
In their most recent alert the ATO have also notified us that scammers are now using call ID technology to make it look like the calls are originating from an ATO number.
In our office alone we have had 3 phone calls this week from clients who have received these types of phone calls so we wanted to give you a few tips on how to recognise these scams and what to do if you receive one.
The ATO will never:
Threaten you with arrest
Demand immediate payment (particularly through strange methods such as Bitcoin)
Refuse to allow you to speak with your registered tax agent
It’s also important to keep in mind that as you have a registered tax agent (that’s us) the ATO will contact us first, and we will in turn contact you.
If you do receive one of these phone calls:
Hang up and call us immediately
Do not call back any number that they provide
Do not transfer any money or give out any personal details
For more information on phone scams or other ATO scams head to https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Online-services/Identity-security/Scam-alerts/