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Google Play, iTunes and Bitcoin payments dominate scam losses


The ATO’s first impersonation scam report for 2019 is out, and popular payment and investment vehicles accounted for the majority of losses to Australian investors.

In January 2019, $497,216 was reported as paid to scammers. This was about $45,000 less than December 2018.

Payments via Google Play, iTunes and Bitcoin continue to account for the majority of losses equating to 83 per cent of the total amount paid, according to the Tax Office.

Further, 23,237 phone scam reports were officially recorded for January month, which represents a decrease of over 2,000 reports from December 2018.


Australians who provided scammers with their personal identifying information totalled about 55 per cent of all scams, which is similar to figures produced in December last year.

The Tax Office recently released tips for Australian investor on how to identify a scam and protect themselves from fraud online. You can read more about this here.

Scams in 2019 are sophisticated and often tied to popular online shopping destinations, or infiltrated through free wifi.

Tax time, which is between the start of the new financial year and income tax lodgement deadline of 31 October, is a particularly busy time for fraudsters.

“We’re heading into peak season for the army of scammers looking to hoodwink individuals and small businesses into parting with their money, their identity or both by claiming to be from the ATO,” said H&R Block’s tax communications director, Mark Chapman.

Google Play, iTunes and Bitcoin payments dominate scam losses
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