With the forthcoming tax season nearly upon us, a scam alert has been issued by the ATO with a clear warning and advice about the different scams that are currently in circulation.
According to a news article published by Curtlin University, people across the country are having to deal with a range of bullying tactics that seek to obtain individuals bank details, tax file numbers, and other personally identifiable data. These scammers are trying to impersonate themselves as ATO staff, sending texts, messages, emails, and leaving alarming voicemails in order to panic people into handing over their sensitive data.
Examples of Typical Scammer Actions
- Voicemails threatening individuals with potential legal action to tax evasion.
- Sending fake links on an email that appears as if it is being sent from the ATO Office Portals or ATO Gateway Portal. By telling people to log-in, they are then able to collect their personal information once entered.
- Text messages that tell people they are entitled to a refund, then requesting they enter their personal details online, such as their banking data to verify their claim.
Guidance from the ATO
- The ATO will NEVER send an email that contains links which direct you to an external website and request your personal information.
- Any personal tax matters should only be undertaken within your MyGov account.
- The ATO will NEVER send voicemails or text messages that threaten legal action, and they will not use this form of communication to request a tax file number or your personal data.
What Can You Do If You Receive a Scam Message, Email, or Call?
- If you get a call from someone claiming to be an ATO representative, take note of their information and call the ATO office directly in order to verify the contact.
- Never give out your bank details or tax file number over the phone or by email.
- If you get an email that looks like it is from the ATO, do not click the links or open attachment. Regardless of how official or genuine it may seem.
Always remember that any genuine contacts made by an ATO employee will be logged on the system and you can call the ATO office directly to confirm matters.
The ATO identity Support Centre is available to speak to directly on 1800 467 033. You can also email them directly and forward a copy of any suspicious email communications to reportemailfraud@ATO.gov.au