Don't let a Grinch of a scam ruin your holidays

Scammers are phoning unsuspecting taxpayers pretending to be the ATO and telling victims they have committed fraud against the tax office.  If you receive on of these types of phone calls our advice is that you should hang up immediately and ignore it. 

Receiving these types of phone calls can be quite upsetting and stressful but the less involved you get, the better.

The goal of the scammer is to build pressure and stress in the call, in an attempt to create an urgency for payments to be made or personal details released.   If you release any information they can use it to take advantage of you and in some (most) cases, exploit your personal bank accounts.

We have had both clients and staff experience these calls recently:  anyone can be a target for these types of phone calls.

We urge you to stay up to date about your own tax affairs so you will not fall victim to a scammer, but never divulge any type of information to them. Hang up immediately.

Some of the tell-tale signs that it is a scam call, and not the ATO include:

    •    threatening that you will be arrested or police are on their way to your address;

    •    the caller will not provide you with explanations or let you speak to another manager in charge;

    •    demanding you pay outstanding debts via the use of pre-paid cards, cryptocurrency or direct credit into a bank account of which they provide details for; and

    •    demanding you pay a fee to release tax refunds owed to you.

Guard your personal and financial information, and do not hand these out to anyone you do not know or trust. 

Let your accountant know about the call (scam); and report the scam to the ATO's dedicated scams line 1800 005 540.

The ATO's website lists a range of previously reported scams.  If you would like to see some examples if you would like more information click here: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Online-services/Identity-security/Scam-alerts/