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Savvy scammers exploiting Aussie taxpayers

  • December 04 2019
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Savvy scammers exploiting Aussie taxpayers

By Cameron Micallef
December 04 2019

The Australian Taxation Office has issued a warning against impostors taking advantage of tax payment deadlines.

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Savvy scammers exploiting Aussie taxpayers

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  • December 04 2019
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The Australian Taxation Office has issued a warning against impostors taking advantage of tax payment deadlines.

Scammer

Late last year, the taxman saw around $2 million lost between November 2018 and January 2019 as scammers aggressively ramped up their criminal tactics.

“I’m particularly concerned about the sophistication these scammers keep showing,” assistant commissioner Karen Foat said.

“They are getting better at impersonating large organisations and ramp up in periods where people expect to hear from us, to make their threats appear more legitimate.”

So far this year, 622 people have paid over $2.1 million to scammers impersonating the ATO.

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“We see these ATO impersonation scams by phone, email, SMS and even through message apps such as WhatsApp.

“We’ve also recently spotted scammers using the cardless cash feature offered by many banks. Through this feature, victims are sent codes to withdraw cash from an ATM, which they then read out to the scammer.

“One Sydneysider was duped out of $500 through this tactic. After a client alerted him that he was scammed, he reported the incident to us,” Ms Float continued.

There are certain factors consumers can be on the look out for to avoid falling victim to these tactics, including how best to distinguish the difference between an official officer versus a scammer.

The Tax Office said it would never:

  • use aggressive or rude behaviour, or threaten you with immediate arrest, jail or deportation;
  • project our number onto your caller ID – so people can be sure that if there’s a number on their caller ID, it’s not the ATO calling;
  • request payment of a debt via cardless cash, iTunes or Google Play cards, prepaid Visa cards, cryptocurrency or direct credit to a personal bank account; and
  • send an email or SMS requesting you click on a hyperlink to log on to government services.
Savvy scammers exploiting Aussie taxpayers
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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